Detective Joseph M. Airhart, Jr. #20931

Name: Airhart, Joseph M.
Star: 20931
Memorial Panel #: 21
Rank: Detective
District / Unit: CPD/FBI Violent Crimes Task Force
End of Watch: 04 November 2008
Incident Details: det-joseph-airhart-20931-0-100 Name: Airhart Jr., Joseph M. Star: 20931 Rank: Detective District / Unit: CPD/FBI Violent Crimes Task Force End of Watch: 04-Nov-2008 Incident Details: Detective Joseph Airhart was a 19-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. On August 28, 2001, Detective Airhart was involved in a Chicago Police Department and FBI joint task force raid. Detective Airhart pretended to be a delivery man and knocked on the door of bank robbery suspect, Daniel Salley. Salley opened the door, but then attempted to slam it shut. Detective Airhart gained entrance and pursued Salley when the offender opened fire. Salley proceeded to take the wounded officer hostage for approximately two hours before surrendering. Detective Airhart was transported to Northwestern Hospital. The detective was in a coma for two months before he awoke. He was unable to speak or swallow food on his own again for the remainder of his life. Detective Airhart, 53, died on November 4, 2008. Daniel Salley was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison plus 132 years in prison. Detective Airhart’s funeral was held at Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago and he was laid to rest in Beverly Cemetery.