July 2014 Officer of the Month On February third, while off-duty, Officer Jorge Flores stopped at a local chain store to use its ATM.  Upon entering the building, he observed a cashier removing cash from the register and placing it into a plastic bag. The cashier appeared apprehensive. Officer Flores noticed the grip of a handgun in the pocket of a large male standing in front of the cashier. Officer Flores identified himself, ordered the male to the ground, and yelled for the other employees in the store to dial 911. The offender stated “I’m not going to jail; you’re going to have to shoot me,” and proceeded to reach for his weapon. Officer Flores discharged his weapon, striking the offender. The offender was transported to the hospital, and pronounced dead. It was learned that this offender was wanted for several armed robberies in the area.                              

June 2014 Officer of the Month While on routine patrol on the 15th of April at approximately 1800 hours, Officers Samanthia Smith and Kevin Tate were turning N/B onto Michigan Ave from 119th St. it was at the time of the turn, Officer Tate, who was driving the squad car, noticed smoke down the street. Officer Tate, knowing that the smoke was too dark to be something common, made way towards the location of the smoke. Arriving at 11611 S. Michigan Ave, Officer Smith immediately got on the radio to request assistance. Officers Tate and Smith then exited their vehicle to see a lady standing there stating that there were people in the house and unable to get out. Knowing that quick action was necessary, Officer Tate headed straight for the front door with Officer Smith following behind. Overcome by the aggressive smoke, the officers backed out of the house. The lady standing outside began pointing up at the window on the south side of the house and stated that there were kids in the window. The officers went to the side of the house where there was a gentleman standing directly below telling the boys to jump from the second story window. It was at this time Officer Tate told the boys (Ronnell Wooden, 15 and Jeremiah Wooden, 8 years old) to continue breaking the glass out of the window. Then Officer Tate asked the lady to come over with Officer Smith, the gentleman and himself to form a small circle to catch the kids. Officer Smith continued to console Jeremiah to let him know we would catch him, just jump. Jeremiah jumped just as instructed and was caught safely. Ronnell then jumped awkwardly and in bracing his fall, he landed on Officer Smith’s right shoulder, causing injury. After both boys were safely out of the house, Officer Smith took the boys to safety. Officer Tate then heard someone calling out from the back of the house, as he made his way, he saw Tobiah Carter, 36 years old male, sitting on the window ceil with smoke barreling out behind him. Officer Tate told Tobiah to stay put as he could hear the Fire Department pulling up. Officer Tate then called out for fire to come to the back with a ladder. Tobiah was able to climb down unharmed. There were four people in the house and all four were rescued safely. Officer Smith explains the situation as, “God using us by putting us in that area at the right time.” Officer Tate stated that, “there was no time to think about what to do, we need to get the kids out now.” Officer Smith and Officer Tate would like to thank the CPD Memorial Foundation for honoring us for our work. As we both still insist that we are not heroes, we appreciate the acknowledgement of deeds.                            

May 2014 Officer of the Month On July 25 2009, Officer Brett Goldstein was off duty spending the day with his family. While approaching an intersection, Goldstein saw an armed offender fire shots into another vehicle stopped in traffic. Officer Goldstein exited his car, leaving his pregnant wife and two year old son, to pursue the offender. Goldstein chased him through an alley where the offender, Marcelino Sauseda, was apprehended. In the alley, Chicago police later recovered a handgun and a black shirt that the offender used to cover his face. In September 2013, a jury found Sauseda guilty of the 1st degree murder of 19-year-old Jeff Maldonado Jr., and Sauseda was given a 62 year sentence. Goldstein began his career with the Chicago Police Department in 2006 and graduated as valedictorian of his academy class. He served in the 11th District as well as the Office of the First Deputy, Office of the Superintendent and the Predictive Analytics Unit.  Goldstein left the department in 2010, and is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P. and also serves as the inaugural Fellow in Urban Science at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

April Officer of the Month: P. O. Wenseslao Zavala On August 4, 2010, officers from the 005th District were informed that the occupants of a vehicle in the vicinity were involved in a shooting. The officers spotted the vehicle and attempted to pull it over, but the offenders fled and a pursuit ensued. An armed offender jumped out of the moving vehicle and P.O. Wenseslao Zavala began to chase him. During this foot pursuit, the offender pointed a handgun and fired multiple times at Officer Zavala. Each time, the officer was able to return fire and apprehended the offender as he attempted to climb through a window of a nearby residence. During the exchange of gunfire, Zavala sustained a gunshot wound to his right shoulder. Assisting officers continued the pursuit of the fleeing vehicle until the other two offenders were taken into custody. The first offender was charged with First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault to a Police Officer, and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. P.O. Wenseslao Zavala began his career with the Chicago Police Department 10.5 years ago. He has worked Tact in the 005th District and has been assigned to the Area South Gun Team since November of 2013.  

P.O. Aaron Davis III Officer of the Month – March 2014 On September 11, 2010, P.O. Aaron Davis and his partner, P.O. Tiawansa Davis, were dispatched to a disturbance call in the 003rd District. The officers arrived on scene at 75th and Southshore, located the offender and ordered him to leave the area. The offender became combative, pulled a gun on the officers and shot P.O. Davis once in the chest. Thankfully, that round was deflected by the officer’s safety vest. Officer Davis immediately tried to gain some distance between himself and the offender and was shot a second time. That round penetrated his shoulder. The offender fled on foot as the officer’s partner returned fire. He was apprehended the next day by members of the Gang Enforcement Unit. P.O. Aaron Davis III began his career with the CPD in 2000 and was assigned to the 004th District. He soon moved to the 003rd District where he worked until 2010.  Officer Davis is currently assigned to Deployment Operations.

P.O. Gloria Clay and P. O. Wilfredo Cruz February 2014 On December 6, 2013, Officers Clay and Cruz were assigned to a school crossing at Granville and Fairfield when they were approached by frantic citizen who relayed that a woman down the street was in active labor. The officers immediately radioed for EMS and ran to the woman’s location. On scene, the officers found that not only was the woman in labor, but the baby was crowning. Officer Clay put on some rubber gloves and went to work while Officer Cruz held back the crowd of onlookers.  A citizen had called 911 and held the phone as the operator calmly guided Officers Clay and Cruz through the delivery process. Before the ambulance arrived, the officers had already delivered the baby boy. They quickly wrapped the newborn with towels and blankets provided by citizens and monitored the baby until the arrival of the CFD. Due to the quick response, teamwork and professionalism exhibited by the two officers and the fire communications operator, the mother and baby will were transported in excellent condition to the hospital. They will certainly have an exciting story to tell. P.O. Gloria Clay began her career with the Chicago Police Department in 2006. Upon graduating from the Training Academy, she was assigned to midnights in the 024th District. A year later she moved to the afternoon shift in 024. Officer Clay is married and is the very proud mother of two – son Darnell (22) who is serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and daughter Diniah (10) who she spends every free moment with. P. O. Clay is very grateful to the CPD Memorial Foundation for this honor. P.O. Wilfredo A Cruz, following service with the U.S. Marine Corps, began his career with the Chicago Police Department in 2003 in the 010th District. Since then, he has worked in the 019th District, Area 3 Saturation and is proud to call the 024th District his new home.

January 2014 In early December of 2013, Officers Wayne Kramer and Fred Estrada were dispatched to a call of a person yelling for help in the area of McClurg Court and the Chicago River. The officers toured the area with windows lowered, heard a cry for help and spotted a man at the edge of the water. Once he spotted the officers, the man relayed that someone had fallen into the river. Officer Kramer sprinted down the stairs toward the docks and attempted to pull the victim from the water. The dock was only four feet wide and it was difficult to maintain a firm grip because of the cold and slippery conditions. The rescue was further complicated by the fact that hypothermia had set in on the victim and he had no use of his arms or legs. With the help of Officer Estrada and the bystander, Kramer was finally able to pull the man from the icy river.The victim was wheeled to street level and transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he made a full recovery. Had it not been for the actions of these two officers, the man would have surely drowned. P.O. Wayne Kramer began his career with the Chicago Police Department in 1998 in the 007th District. He has worked midnights in the 018th District since 2000. Officer Kramer is the proud father of Ryan (16) and Eric (12) and has coached both boys in baseball, basketball and football. P.O. Fred Estrada, a native of South Chicago (004th District), began his career with the Chicago Police Department seven years ago. He has spent one year working in the 012th District and the rest in 018 on midnights. Officer Estrada is married and has one son.

December 2013 Each December, the CPMF hosts Operation Santa – an amazing event which shows the families of our fallen and catastrophically injured officers that they haven’t been forgotten. Operation Santa would not be complete without Santa and Mrs. Claus, who visits the homes of these families bearing gifts and good tidings. Two very special volunteers, Mike and Shirley Wolf, play the roles of Santa and Mrs. Claus and have done so since the inception of the program. The husband and wife duo fly in from Arizona on their own time and at their own expense, authentic costumes in tow.  In character, they board a Presidential limousine and travel to all corners of the city in a police caravan for the two-day campaign. “It’s all about the families,” said Mike Wolf. “It’s important for us to remember them – especially this time of year.” The Wolfs also play Santa and Mrs. Claus for the Secret Service’s “Operation Shining Star,” Comer Childrens’ Hospital, Arizona Concerns of Police Survivors and Coalition for Compassionate Justice. The CPMF and the Gold Star Families are eternally grateful for their efforts. Shirley Wolf started the Chicago Police Academy in January 1981. She worked patrol and a Tactical Unit in the 016th District until being assigned to the 018th District in 1991. Shirley was promoted to Gang Specialist in 1998 and worked Gangs and Narcotics until 2000. She was assigned to the Detective Division from 2000 until 2008 in Domestic Violence and retired from the Chicago Police Department in 2008. Mike Wolf began his law enforcement career as a Reserve Police Officer for the village of DesPlaines in 1987. He worked as a patrol officer in DesPlaines until his retirement in 2009. Mike also served as a police sergeant for the village of Golf and a part-time Willow Springs police officer. Mike was a master firearms instructor, baton instructor, OC instructor and also filled the role of field training officer.

November 2013 On September 1, 2010, P.O. James Gochee and members of the 006th District, 662 Tactical team, lead by then Lieutenant Glenn Evans, were executing a search warrant at the address of 7701 S. Hoyne Ave. a little after midnight, for weapons and drugs.  P.O. Gochee was assigned to breech the rear door of the residence using the battering ram with P.O. Michael St Clair standing off to P.O. Gochee’s right, ready to enter the residence with an M4 rifle and Lt. Glenn Evans standing off to the right of P.O. St Clair.  The rear door was to be breached because intelligence gathered before execution of the warrant indicated the front door of the residence was barricaded.  After P.O. Gochee breeched the gate of the fence surrounding the backyard and the security door on the back door, P.O. Gochee started to strike the rear steel door.  After P.O. Gochee struck the door for the third time, he heard a loud bang, felt an object pass through his left arm then observed the object, which was the bullet fired from an AK 47 assault rifle through the closed door, strike the battering ram, explode and travel up the ram a short distance, shelling shrapnel into his left arm and left leg burning through his pants. P.O. Gochee staggered back from the door, dropped the ram to the ground and attempted to run from the rear door area after Lt. Evans ordered the team to find cover.  P.O. Gochee then ran a couple of feet, overcome with shock, collapsed to the ground.  P.O. Gochee remembering his training and officer survival skills stayed calm, put pressure on his wound and kept his arm above his heart to minimize bleeding, he then directed a fellow officer to place a tourniquet made from a Chicago Police raid vest on his arm to stop the bleeding.  Lt. Evans also injured from the ordeal after receiving glass from the security door embed in one of his eyes, not caring for his own safety, then dragged P.O. Gochee from the back yard of the residence to the parkway where Sgt. Phillip Orlando also on scene transported P.O. Gochee to the hospital along with P.O. Michael St Clair, also injured when the bullet struck him with shrapnel then embed itself in his right bicep after it had traveled up the battering ram.   P.O. Gochee started his career as an officer for the Village of Crestwood then spent 5 years on the Cook County Sheriff’s Department where he was on the S.O.R.T. Unit, he is a 10 1/2 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, he is happily married to his wife Margie of 18 years and the proud father of four children.  He has spent his entire career in the 006th District and has been a tactical officer for 9 1/2 years.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think this would happen to me, my life was changed totally by this incident, I have made it my new goal in life to help and inform other officers on how to deal and cope after surviving such a horrible incident that is often a part of our […]

October 2013 On 28 April 2013, Officer Coleman was off duty in front of his home when he observed a vehicle with 4 occupants driving southbound down the street.  The vehicle stopped right in front of Officer Coleman and the rear 2 passengers got out of the vehicle, produced weapons and 1 began shooting in a northwesterly direction towards some area residents, while the other began firing his weapon to the south.  Both offenders re-entered the vehicle and it continued southbound.   Officer Coleman called 9-1-1 to report “shots fired” and began to follow the offenders in his vehicle.  As he drove from the scene, Officer Coleman noticed that there had been a person shot by the offenders.  At the intersection of Oakley and Van Buren, the offender’s vehicle stopped in the left lane at the red light and Officer Coleman stopped his vehicle behind and to the right of the offender’s vehicle.  Officer Coleman exited he vehicle, with his weapon in his right hand and his Chicago Police star in his left hand, and as he identified himself, shouting “Police! Stop the car!”, the offender sitting in the left rear passenger seat raised a semi-automatic pistol, pointed the pistol in Officer Coleman’s direction.  Officer Coleman, believing that the offender was about to shoot at him, continued to move towards the offenders  using his vehicle for shielding and, in defense of his life, fired his weapon at the offender with the pistol inside the vehicle.  As the traffic light turned green and the offender’s car began to drive away, Officer Coleman identified himself to an Illinois State Trooper, who was making a traffic stop a few feet away, and informed him that the offenders in the fleeing vehicle had just shot someone around the corner.  The trooper gave chase to the offender’s vehicle with negative results.   The offender’s vehicle was recovered a short time later with a silver colored handgun lying on the right rear seat and a trail of blood that led down the alley to the first of the 4 offenders who have at this time all been apprehended and charged with attempted murder .  Two of the offenders sustained non life threatening gunshot wounds.  Due to Officer Coleman’s heroic actions, 4 dangerous criminals have been removed from the streets of Chicago.   Officer Coleman became a Chicago Police Officer in 1999 and began his career in the 003rd district. In 2001, Officer Coleman went to the Area 2 Saturation Team and in 2002 moved to the 003rd district Tactical team.  Officer Coleman spent from 2004-2009 on the Area 2 Gun Team and is currently assigned to the Narcotics Division.    

                September 2013 On July 7, 2010, Sgt. Jason Kaczynski and P.O. Kimberly Thorp, members of the Targeted Response Unit, were working desk duty at the old 007 District building located at 61st and Racine when the sound of gunfire ripped through the facility. Both officers immediately responded and made their way outside toward the source of the gunfire. Thorp was out the door first and spotted another officer taking cover behind a vehicle. Amid a spray of bullets, she took aim at the offender advancing toward her position. Sgt. Jason Kaczynski was next out the door and fired several shots at the offender, striking the gunman in the chest.   What the officers did not realize was that the offender had shot and killed P.O. Thor Soderberg just moments earlier in the parking lot. Their heroic efforts most likely prevented a murderous rampage by the offender, Bryant Brewer, who survived the incident and is awaiting trial. Neither Kaczynski nor Thorp was wearing a bulletproof vest when they stepped into the line of fire.   Sgt. Jason Kaczynski joined the CPD in May of 1997. As a patrol officer, he worked in the 009th District, the 008th District, the 006th District, the Area 2 Mission Team and the Narcotics Section. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2003 and was assigned to the 004th District, the Targeted Response Unit and the 006th District. He is currently assigned to the Courts Section.   P.O. Kimberly Thorp was hired by the CPD in October 2004 and began her career in the 003rd District. Following her probationary period, she was assigned to the Targeted Response Unit and worked there until the Unit was disbanded. She spent a year in the 007th District and is currently assigned to the Fugitive Apprehension Team. When not working for the CPD, Kim volunteers as the president and training director for Search and Rescue Dogs of Illinois. She is nationally certified and currently handles a human remains detection K-9. The team has spent much of the past year assisting police departments with various criminal cases that benefit from the use of a human remains detection K-9. Thorp is excited to be adding a bloodhound to her search and rescue team and feels lucky to share her passion for dogs with her family.

August 2013 On September 15, 2011, Chicago police officers Alejandro Acevedo and Charlotte Gonzalez, members of the 017th District Tactical Unit, were on patrol when they heard gunshots. They responded immediately and while en route to the source of the gunfire, a message was broadcast by the first police units on scene saying a man had been shot and the assailant was fleeing in a black Chevrolet Suburban. Officers Acevedo and Gonzalez recalled seeing a Suburban matching that description while on their way to the source of the shooting, so they doubled back to locate it. They soon spotted the suspect vehicle heading north on Kedzie Avenue, notified the dispatcher and activated their emergency equipment. The officers curbed the vehicle on the 5300 block of North Kedzie Avenue, then exited their squad car. The passenger jumped out of the black SUV, pointed a handgun at Officers Acevedo and Gonzalez and began firing. The officers returned fire as the assailant, while still shooting his weapon, fled on foot into an unlit driveway. While Officer Acevedo chased the offender, Officer Gonzalez approached the driver of the vehicle. Utilizing her professional training, moving quickly and decisively, Officer Gonzalez pulled the driver from the vehicle and handcuffed him without incident. Officer Acevedo continued to pusue the other assailant down the unlit driveway. Taking cover behind a parked van in order to reload his weapon, he ordered the offender to get on the ground. The assailant ignored the commands and continued firing at Officer Acevedo. Once he reloaded his weapon, Officer Acevedo engaged the offender in an exchange of gunfire, fatally striking the gunman.   The ensuing investigation revealed that the two offenders were both members of a street gang and that they had just shot and killed a rival gang member in the 4900 block of North Troy Street. The surviving offender was charged with two counts of murder. As a result of the brave actions of these two fine Chicago police officers, two murderers have been removed from our streets.   P.O. Alejandro Acevedo was hired in 2005 and assigned to the 017th District. He began his career in the 017th District, Albany Park neighborhood, and has 7 years on the job. He has worked beat cars, rapid response cars and Tact, where he is currently assigned. He has been married for 16 years and has two children.   P.O. Charlotte Gonzalez was appointed as a police officer on January 3, 2005. She is an alumni of Lane Technical High School (’98) and the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana (’01). P.O. Gonzalez is currently assigned to the 017th District and has been on the tactical team for approximately two and a half years. She has been married for 11 years to her amazing husband, who is also a Chicago police officer, and has two wonderful children.        

July 2013 On October 8, 2008, while conducting an investigation into the Traveling Vice Lord street gang, Sgt. Charles Daly and PO Joseph Ramaglia observed an individual causing a disturbance in the middle of the street. When the officers approached, the offender fled on foot, holding his waistband. During a brief pursuit, the offender eventually fell in an alley. As the officers approached, the individual fought off their attempts to take him into custody. The offender bit the officers, knocked the radio out of the officer’s hand while he was trying to call for backup and eventually tried to take one of the officer’s service weapons from his holster. As the two officers continued to struggle with the offender; the offender broke free and pointed his gun at one of the officers. The second officer, taking immediate action to save his partner, fired one shot and neutralized the threat.   Sgt. Charles Daly has 18 years on the job.  He began his career in the recently closed 013th District on Wood Street. He has worked on Tact and Gang teams, Narcotics, Intelligence and was promoted to Detective and later Sergeant.  He currently works as a Sergeant in the Gang Investigations Division. Charles has been married for 16 years and has three children.   P.O. Joseph Ramaglia was hired in 1998 and assigned to the 009th District. He has worked in several districts including 007, 006 and 010. Since 2006, he has been assigned to Sgt. Daly’s team in Gang Investigations. Joseph is a highly decorated veteran with over 130 Honorable Mentions, 12 Department Commendations and 2 Special Commendations, among many others. P.O. Ramaglia is married and has two children.

June 2013 When I was four, my sister and I were alone midday with a babysitter when a fire broke out in the kitchen. The babysitter ran for help, I panicked and ran further into the second floor apartment and away from the exits. My older sister Brenda came after me to get me out, but we quickly became trapped in a front bedroom. An air conditioner blocked the window, but a ladder provided by a neighborhood handyman was scaled by a police officer who yanked it out of the window, sending it crashing to the ground. With smoke billowing over our heads, he pulled us out just in time. Materially speaking, it was a total loss. But I am sure any parent would agree that any day your kid escapes a fire, it is a good day. While psychologists might argue to the contrary, because I have no memory of my own experience as a child with a residential fire, I can’t honestly say that event in my life is what motivated me to become a police officer. However, it is entirely possible it predisposed me to that career choice. All I know – cliche as it might sound – I have always wanted to be a cop. Though no one in my immediate family was in law enforcement, growing up on the southwest side of Chicago many of my friends’ parents were cops. I kept my nose mostly clean as a kid, pursued and obtained a degree in law enforcement from WIU, worked diligently as an investigator for a taxi cab insurance company, and when the chance arose to attend the police academy, I grabbed it as fast as I could. My superiors will tell you I am a hard worker. I guess that is relative. All I know is that only a fortunate few get to do what they love and get paid for it, and I am one of them. The story about the fire on Drake is familiar to many. I was a block away when I responded to the 911 call. When pounding the door failed to roust anyone, I felt I had to kick in the door. Directing the second floor occupants, Ms Washington and her kids got out safely. The third floor was the location of the fire. I kicked in the door, but smoke drove me back. Racing around the building I saw a woman leaning out a window and distracted and kept her calm until CFD arrived. Her son had managed to self-extricate and was on an adjoining roof. The first thing my dad asked when I told him about it was if it brought up any bad memories. It did not. Not yet, anyway!

May 2013 Brian Warner is an 18 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and is assigned to the 018th district. Brian is the proud father of two teenage children, Brett and Emilee.  He is also the first in his family of 15 siblings to join the CPD. In 2002, his sister Annie Rose also joined the department and is currently assigned to the 011th district. Warner spent the first three years of his career working a beat car in 018. He then joined the gang team and spent the next five years working primarily in the Cabrini Green housing project.  He then became a member of the 018th district tactical team where he worked on robberies and burglaries. During his time on the tactical team, Warner was also detailed to the Area Three Mission Team where he worked alongside detectives who specialized in investigating organized burglary and robbery crews. Warner then returned to the 018th District to become a Field Training Officer (FTO). He held that position for almost two years. While still in 018, Warner was assigned to beat 1806-which is the third watch plain clothes car.  For the last seven years, Warner and his partner have lead the district with an average of three hundred and twenty five arrests. Throughout his career, Officer Warner has received two department commendations, fifty honorable mentions, seven fitness awards, two attendance awards and numerous complimentary letters. On  February 23, 2011, Officer Warner #8189, and his partner Steve Pilafas #8644, encountered a man in the vicinity of 600 N. Fairbanks. This offender was approaching vehicles stopped in traffic and panhandling pedestrians in an aggressive manner.  Officers Warner and Pilafas approached the offender and attempted to place him under arrest.  The offender became combative and resisted arrest by pulling away and striking Officer Pilafas on the head.  Officers Warner and Pilafas were able to gain control of the offender and placed him in custody.  The officers handcuffed the offender behind his back and conducted a search.  The offender had multiple layers of clothes on and continued to struggle with the officers.  The officers placed him in the rear of their squad car and began transporting him to the 018th District for processing. While en route to the station, both officers Warner and Pilafas observed that the offender continued to struggle and move about in the rear seat of the vehicle.  As the officers approached the intersection of Chicago and Wells, they both turned to observe the offender, while handcuffed, had produced a handgun and was pointing the weapon from his right side.  Officer Warner immediately attempted to stop the vehicle and the offender fired a round in the direction of the seated officers.  Officer Pilafas exited the vehicle from the passenger side. While Officer Warner was attempting to exit the vehicle from the driver’s side, the offender fired a second round striking Warner in the back.  The offender then fired an additional round while in the rear of the squad car.  Both […]

We Will Never Forget