Superintendent’s Honored Star Case Ceremony Retires the Stars of Seven Chicago Police Officers Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice: Honored Officers Now Among 490 Stars in Memorial
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy retired the stars of seven Chicago Police officers who died in the line of duty between 1891 and 1977.
The stars of the distinguished officers were permanently enshrined in the Honored Star Case at Public Safety Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Avenue. Family members, friends, and fellow police officers joined Superintendent McCarthy in commemorating the seven police officers.
The memorial, located at Public Safety Headquarters, now recognizes a total of 490 officers who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our City.
“Police officers have long been the backbone of our city’s public safety,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These seven officers made an incredible sacrifice for our city and the neighborhoods in which we live, and while their lives were tragically cut short I’m proud to honor them today on behalf of
everyone in Chicago.”
“The Honored Star Case ceremony is an event that recognizes heroism, courage, and selfsacrifice demonstrated by Chicago Police Officers whose lives were lost in the line of duty,” said Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy. “This tradition is an important occasion to remember our
fallen heroes and comfort their loved ones with the assurance we will never forget these brave
men and women or their sacrifice,” he added.
The seven Chicago Police officers honored today included the following fallen heroes:
Police Officer Francis Williams: While chasing a thief down a dark alley, Officer Williams sustained an injury to his leg. His cause of death was ruled fatal blood poisoning resulting from the injury. Officer Williams died at his home on March 27, 1891.
Sergeant Michael Twohig: Sergeant Michael Twohig responded to a call of “Larceny” on November 4, 1930. Upon arrival, Sergeant Twohig was aware of an outstanding arrest warrant for the subject and attempted to take her into custody. The subject fled the scene. Sergeant Twohig
gave chase and began wrestling with her when he began to get weak and sank to the ground turning a yellowish blue color. Sergeant Twohig was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police Officer Edward Healy: On August 12, 1937, Officer Healy was chasing a burglary offender in an alley when he fell on a waist high pole. Subsequent to his fall, he died in the hospital after suffering fatal complications resulting from his injuries.
Detective Martin J. Moylan: Detective Moylan was injured on the job in October 1950 while directing traffic. Detective Moylan was struck by a vehicle and suffered injuries to his head, back, leg, and ankle, which prevented him from walking. After the accident, he never completely
recovered from his injuries and never returned to work. Nearly two years later, he was admitted to the hospital with back pains, developed pneumonia and died.
Police Officer Zollie Reiger: On January 13, 1958, Police Officer Zollie Reiger was involved in a fatal traffic accident while on duty. Officer Reiger was attempting to stop a speeding vehicle when his three-wheel motorcycle was forced over, jumped a curb, and struck a tree.
Police Officer Casey Tristano: On March 13, 1970, Police Officer Casey Tristano was a Youth Officer who responded to a disturbance at Our Lady Help of Christians School when a fight erupted during a dance. Officer Tristano was attempting to make an arrest of a juvenile when he
was struck in the face. Officer Tristano was injured with a bloody nose and had difficulty breathing, when he collapsed at the scene and died. Officer Casey Tristano was 45 years old when he died. This juvenile, along with five others, were placed into custody.
Police Officer Thomas Gesiorski: On December 26, 1977, Officer Gesiorski was assigned to the squadrol when he responded to the call of a shooting. In the absence of an ambulance, Officer Gesiorski was assigned to transport the victim to the hospital. Officer Gesiorski and his partner
placed the shooting victim on a stretcher and carried him down three flights of stairs and drove him to the hospital. After arriving at the emergency room, Officer Gesiorski collapsed from a heart attack and subsequently passed away.
The stars were eligible for retirement under guidelines established in 2005 by retired Police Superintendent Philip J. Cline. The criteria, the same as those used by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, defines line of duty death as “the death of an active duty officer bycriminal or accidental means during the course of performing police functions while on or off duty.”