University mourns loss of longtime officer 

Colleagues, former students, and university staff, as well as surrounding police departments and sheriffs’ offices, are mourning the loss of longtime Pittsburg State University police officer Dennis Bounds, who died suddenly of natural causes on Oct. 6 at his home. 

He was 63. 

bounds mug

“Dennis was a dedicated officer and provided further proof of that by retiring from the University Police Department in 2014 and then returning to work here part-time a short while later,” said University Police Chief Stu Hite.  

Bounds’ career also includes having served as a patrolman, corporal, and detective for the Joplin, Missouri Police Department. 

He was born April 9, 1959, at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland. After earning a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Central Missouri State University in 1992, he joined the PSU Police Department in 1993. He also served as a member of the Tri-State Major Case Squad.   

When he retired from PSU in 2014, the call to serve never left him. He returned to campus as a part-time, overnight officer, working Monday through Friday from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. 

He rode the UPD Segway around campus, through buildings, and assisted the evening and midnight shifts by checking all buildings. 

“His dedication to his job and our campus community may have gone unnoticed because of the time of day — or rather night — he worked here, but he played an important role,” Hite said. “To say we’ll miss him would be an understatement.”  

Graduate Monicka Richmeier was a student dispatcher when Bounds worked as a day shift patrol officer. She went on to join the Fort Scott, Kansas police department and was a special agent in the attorney general’s office. 

“He is an officer I respected and kept in my mind 16 years as a sworn officer,” Richmeier said. “He will never be forgotten.” 

Bounds also worked as a police sketch artist — but his artistic ability wasn’t limited to identifying suspects. He loved sketching outdoor scenes. 



“In recent months, he was trying to reduce the number of drawings he had at home and brought many to the university police department to give each colleague a chance to pick their favorite,” Hite said. “You'll see several on our desks or hanging up.” 

Those who knew him best described him as quiet, caring, dedicated to his family, and an avid fisherman, hunter, arrowhead maker, and collector of old fishing tackle. 

"I'd put his knowledge of a Zebco 33 rod and reel up against anyone on Earth,” Hite said. “He could tell you the years they were manufactured, which ones were best, which ones to stay away from and what each was made of.” 

“We will miss Dennis for many reasons, but we were fortunate to have him as an officer, and most of all a colleague and friend,” Hite said. 

Bounds attended Trinity Baptist Church in Pittsburg. He is survived by his parents; his wife, Lani Tabera, and his children, Connor and Sydney Bounds; three grandchildren; a sister, and a brother. 

Funeral services were held Oct. 10 at Derfelt Funeral Home in Galena, Kansas.