P.O. Raquel Castaneda was working beat 823 in the 008th District with her partner Robert Cavallone one November evening in 2012 when they were dispatched a call of a burglary report. Upon arrival to the location, which was an apartment building, Castaneda and Cavallone met Jennifer Weaver and her three daughters. Castaneda was the passenger that evening, so she was gathering information for the report. As she walked around the apartment with the emotional Weaver and her daughter Raven, it hit her that these burglars went to great lengths to gain entry into the small apartment. The burglars tried first to get in through a bathroom window that was about 12ft off the ground and when that failed, they kicked in an outside steel door. Castaneda was dumb founded because it was an apartment building with other tenants and no one heard the commotion of the break in. The Weaver family had only lived in the residence for about a week and the eldest daughter, Raven, a very intelligent little girl, had a laundry list of medical issues. The burglars not only took Raven’s medication, they took all the family’s Christmas gifts, frozen food, rent money and even ate chips while they were ransacking the apartment.
Emotions were very high inside the residence, so Officer Castaneda stepped outside to sit in her squad car and gain her composure. Every time she asked a question related to the list of items taken, Jennifer Weaver would realize that something else was missing and burst into tears and Raven would do the same. When Officer Castaneda returned to the residence, Raven had Officer Cavallone by the hand and was taking him to different areas of the apartment where the burglars had been and relayed what had been stolen. It was a priceless sight to see. Castaneda almost had to go back and sit in the squad car, but she toughed it out and stood there listening to Raven say, “see officer, they took hotdogs too.”
Officer Cavallone went to the store the very next morning and bought toys for the kids and replaced food and cereal. He returned to the Weaver residence with their other partner, P.O. Dave Falardeau, who rotates on beat 823 as well. Cavallone decided all three officers would contribute to this awesome cause for the family. He didn’t want anyone to find out about what was done for the Weavers, so all agreed that they wouldn’t say anything. The story became public only because Sgt. Allen Cain from 008 District CAPS bumped into Jennifer Weaver at a food pantry and she relayed the events to him.
P.O. Robert Cavallone: Was hired by the Chicago Police Department in 2006 and has been assigned to the 008th District since graduating from the Training Academy. Until two years ago, Cavallone served the District on 1st Watch. He and Officer Falardeau then made the move to the 3rd Watch.
P.O. Raquel Castaneda: Joined the Chicago Police Department in October of 1998 and started her career in the 007th District. After serving two years in 007, she went to the 008 District and then to 011 where she served most of her 14 year career. While in 011, Officer Castaneda moved around to different units within 011/Area 4 (Gun Team, Midnight Gang Team, Saturation Team) and then went back to the 3rd watch in the District. She eventually transferred to Mobile Strike Force and came back to the 008th District when the unit was disbanded. She is currently on the 3rd Watch and is happy to have gained experience and knowledge while serving these various units within the CPD.
P.O. Dave Falardeau: Has been a Chicago police officer for six years assigned to the 008th District. He worked 1st Watch in 008 and is currently assigned to the 3rd Watch. Officer Falardeau was RDO the day of the burglary report, but returned to work the following day and assisted Officer Cavalone in replacing some of the Weaver’s stolen items.