Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 22 years, 3 months, 6 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Operational Services - Patrol Division, Special Functions Group: Unit 059 - Marine Unit
District of Incident (Present Day): 018 - Near North
Cause of Death: Drowned
Age at Time of Death: 50
Date of Birth: 25 Jun 1949
Date of Appointment: 27 Feb 1978
Date of Incident: 02 Jun 2000
End of Watch: 02 Jun 2000
Date of Interment: 07 Jun 2000
Cemetery: Evergreen Cemetery - Evergreen Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Cremated
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-8
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 11
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 4, Line 29
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 47-W: 22
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: Did Not Serve
Incident & Biographic Details
Sergeant Alane Marie Stoffregen, Star #1203, aged 50 years, was a 22 year, 3 month, 6 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services - Patrol Division, Special Functions Group: Unit 059 - Marine Unit.
On June 2, 2000, at 12:30 p.m., Sergeant Stoffregen a Master Diver, was participating in a “search-and-rescue“ training exercise about one mile off of Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. Sergeant Stoffregen had completed a 35 minute diving practice session and signaled to her diving partner that she was going to return to the surface. When she reached the water's surface she was met by crushing, two to three foot waves. As she reached the Chicago Marine boat, she yelled for the diver on board the boat. Sergeant Stoffregen may have been struggling in the water prior to his arrival. The onboard diver later stated that he did not know she was there until she yelled his name. Sergeant Stoffregen's efforts and those of the officer on board were impeded by the crushing waves. A second Marine Unit boat responded and assisted in her rescue. The officers immediately rushed her to a waiting ambulance. She was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital by CFD Ambulance #53 where she was pronounced dead by Dr. Kontrick at 1:20 p.m. on June 2, 2000. Doctors concluded that panic, fatigue, and exhaustion attributed to Sergeant Stoffregen's accidental drowning at the surface. Dr. James Caruso of the U.S. Navy hospital in Pensacola, Florida, reviewed the case and agreed she accidentally drowned at the surface, probably because of exhaustion. Dr. Peter Bennett, a Duke University professor and president of the Divers Alert Network, said divers over age 40 are most prone to surface drowning. Dr. Bennett also said a common cause of surface drowning is heart trouble triggered by the change in surface temperature on a diver's face.
Sergeant Stoffregen was waked at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home located at 4727 West 103rd Street, Oak Lawn, Illinois, her funeral mass was held on June 7, 2000 at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Church located at 3721 West 62nd Street, and was cremated on June 7, 2000 at Evergreen Cemetery, 3401 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois.
Sergeant Alane Marie Stoffregen, born June 25, 1949, received her Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 27, 1978. She earned 47 Honorable Mentions, 4 Complimentary Letters and 1 Physical Fitness Award during her career. In 1998, she was promoted to Detective. In June, 1999, she was promoted to Sergeant.
Sergeant Stoffregen was a member of the Police Benevolent & Protective Association. She was survived by her mother, Agnes Clara (nee Mihalovich), age 77 and siblings: Gale, James, Kenneth, Marybeth Murphy, Ronald and Timothy. She was preceded in death by her father, Lorenz.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #F328600.
On May 24, 2005, Sergeant Stoffregan's star was retired by Superintendent Philip J. Cline and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.