Late Port Arthur correctional officer Dudley Champ to be honored in D.C.

Published 12:36 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

A Port Arthur man known for his hard work and kind nature will be honored Oct. 16 in Washington D.C. during the 40th National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.

Dudley James Champ was 53 when he died August 10, 2020, from COVID-19. At the time he was a correctional officer, but had previously served with Beaumont Fire Rescue.

“He always pushed the new guys as they came through,” said Jimmy Blanchard, investigator with Hardin County Emergency Services No. 2, and previous assistant marshal with Beaumont Fire Rescue. “He was always smiling and giggling.”

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Champ, who graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1980, served with the Lafayette Fire Department after attending the University of Southern University.

The U.S. Navy veteran previously worked as a substitute teacher, an operator/environmental representative for Motiva Enterprises and a driver/fire fighter for Beaumont Fire Rescue before taking a job in May 2019 with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

Tuesday, the Jefferson County Commissioner’s Court approved Bruce Minter to represent Jefferson County at the annual memorial service, where Dudley will be recognized as a fallen officer.

The National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service Committee requests one representative from each agency to serve as the escort officer for the surviving family, according to information from the committee submitted to Sheriff Zena Stephens.

Minter’s trip will be funded through the forfeiture account.

At the time of his death, the late correctional officer was remembered for his service to St. Catherine Catholic Church and his dedication.

In 2020, Rev. Rodel Faller told Port Arthur Newsmedia that Champ “loved his church and being able to usher.”