2019 Paint the Town Blue






Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors two Chicago Police Officers who arrested two offenders and recovered two loaded handgun after being shot at.

This morning the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Chicago Police Officers Patrick Bunyon and John Pilolli who arrested two offenders and recovered two loaded handgun after being shot at while taking a weapon off of the street. 

Officer Patrick Bunyon and Officer John Pilolli are members of the 15th district tactical team and on July 4, 2018 at 2:40am they were monitoring an area of street violence brought upon by a faction of the Four Corner Hustlers.  Using the latest technology which includes camera surveillance, they became aware of a subject holding a handgun in the area. Armed with the description, the Officers responded. Together they worked as a team to capture the gun wielding subject before they could use it against the citizens of the Austin district.

As the officers approached the offender, the offender raised the handgun and fired it in the direction of the officers. As the offender ran away, the officers pursued him and observed a second offender with a handgun and ordered him to drop the weapon and surrender to the officers. Instead of complying, the offender fired his gun at the Officers who then returned fire.

Luckily, no police Officer was injured during the volley of gunfire and the offender eventually surrendered to the police. At that time a fully loaded chrome revolver was recovered and the subject was taken into custody. A systematic search of the area allowed the Officers to recover another gun, the weapon originally spotted in the surveillance.  

The Officers continued to search for the initial offender who had made good his escape. The Officers returned to the station and scanned reports and photographs and identified the initial offender in the investigation. The officers located a photo of the Offender and shared it with the detective division. A search warrant was obtained and the subject was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder. In total two individuals were arrested and two handguns were recovered.

This is another example of a day in the life of those tactical Officers who work to identify the offenders who are preying on the innocent in Chicago. These tactical officers, in every district and in specialized units, are using the latest technology to bring justice to the streets and remove guns from the criminal’s hands.  This is one example of the over 9500 guns taken off of the streets in 2018.

“These Officers will say they are just doing their job, but they go above and beyond any simple job. They are dedicated to their position as an Officer in the Chicago Police Department, another example of the fine caliber of Officers who are working to make Chicago safe,” said Phil Cline, Executive Director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.  

We are proud to make Officer Patrick Bunyon and Officer John Pilolli our February Officers of the Month.

Operation Santa 2018

Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s “Operation Santa” brings smiles and holiday spirit to families of officers slain or seriously injured in the line of duty

Santa’s motorcade stops at Macy’s State Street store to pick up presents then winds through Chicago area this weekend, delivering gifts to families of the fallen

December 15, 2018

Chicago – The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s 12th annual Operation Santa kicked off Saturday morning as a police motorcade escorted Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and a team of merry elves around Chicago this weekend delivering gifts, good wishes and the spirit of the holidays to 12 families of fallen or seriously injured Chicago Police officers.

Accompanying Santa and Ms. Claus on the annual two-day gift-giving tour was a group of Chicago Police Memorial Foundation supporters and members of the Chicago Police Department, including Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and First Deputy Anthony Riccio.

“The core of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s mission is making sure the families of our heroes are always remembered and never forgotten,” said Foundation Executive Director Phil Cline. “Operation Santa is our effort to show the children of the fallen and injured how much we care about them and to remind them that they are always a part of the Chicago Police family.”

Among the homes Santa’s entourage will visit this year are those of two Chicago Police officers killed in the line of duty this year. On Saturday, Operation Santa will stop by the home of Samuel Jimenez to provide support his widow, Crystal and their three children as they face their first Christmas without their father. Officer Jimenez was killed when responding to the tragic active shooter incident at Mercy Hospital in November. On Sunday, Operation Santa will pay a visit to the home of Erin and Grace Bauer. Commander Paul Bauer was killed in February while coming to the aid of his fellow officers who were trying to apprehend an individual who was fleeing the police on foot.

Operation Santa 2018 kicked off Saturday morning as the police-escorted motorcade arrived at the Macy’s store on State Street. While there, Santa and Macy’s employees loaded up vans with gifts. The motorcade then headed out on an ambitious itinerary that would include stops at four different homes on Saturday and five more stops on Sunday. Macy’s, one Operation Santa’s primary sponsor, contributed $10,000 to the effort and has been a partner of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation for seven straight years. This year’s lead sponsor is the Schwarber Neighborhood Heroes Foundation.

"Every day, Chicago police officers risk their lives to protect the city we all call home and some of them pay the ultimate sacrifice," said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "At this time of year, I can't think of a better way to show our gratitude than to make this a happy holiday for the families of officers we have lost or who have been seriously injured. This event is another example of the great work by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and I thank them for their dedication to our officers."

Also on Saturday and Sunday morning, the entourage visited with children of Chicago Police officers who are currently on military deployment. In all, 14 children of six Chicago Police officers participated in the festivities. The officers are deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Central America and other locations.

“These Chicago Police officers won’t be able to share the holidays with their families because they are placing themselves in harm’s way in service to our nation,” said Cline. “The least we can do is take a little time to make sure we can bring a little holiday joy into the homes of officers who, when they aren’t protecting our city, are off in dangerous places protecting our nation.”

Operation Santa would not be possible without the ongoing support from Chicago’s business and civic community and many individuals who have made contributions to help the Foundation purchase gifts for children of fallen and seriously injured Chicago Police officers.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Santa Sponsors:
Schwarber’s Neighborhood Heroes
The Michael Sweig Foundation
Mr. Kevin Shanahan
Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union

Elf Sponsors:

Reindeer Sponsors:
Nexus Employment Solutions
Marino Jeep Dodge Ram

Frosty Sponsors:
Choose Chicago
Fasan Florist
Fannie May Candies
Jim Zangrilli
Larry Sechuk

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Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors a Chicago Police Officer who was shot in his vest while removing an illegal gun from the streets of Chicago.

On Tuesday, December 11th, we will come together to honor Officer Fernando Soto, a sixth district tactical officer with 8 years on the job, patrolling some of Chicago’s most dangerous streets.

On November 20, the day after the Mercy Hospital shooting, while the city was still in shock and mourning three service people, Officer Soto and his partner Officer Luis Escobedo were grieving for one of their brothers in blue. However, they do what cops do, they continue to patrol the streets of Chicago.   

On that morning, Officer Soto saw a man walking down the street making movements that were consistent with a man holding a gun. As the officers approached the man in their vehicle, the offender spotted the officers, looked at them, and then quickly looked away hoping the Officers would not question him. The officers passed the offender but continued to observe him as the offender continued his glances at the officers to see if the officers were still watching him. Officer Soto told his partner he thought the offender was carrying a gun and they should put a stop on him.

The officers made a u-turn and Officer Soto got out of the car and called to the offender. The offender took off running in the opposite direction. Officer Soto was right behind him while his partner maneuvered the squad car to head off the offender. Officer Soto saw the offender pull out a gun. The offender shot at Officer Soto who returned fire and the offender fell to the ground. Officer Soto felt that he was hit but still secured the offender's weapon. Officer Soto had the good sense to kneel down onto one knee to reduce the distance to the ground in case he would suddenly collapse from his injury.

Officer Soto told his partner that he had been shot, so his partner examined him and let him know that the bullet had penetrated the vest and was lodged inside of it. Happily, the vest worked and Officer Soto was bruised but safe. It should be noted that a Sergeant who responded to the shooting used his medical kit to apply clotting gauze to the offender’s wounds. The gun that was used to shoot Officer Soto was one of nearly 8000 illegal guns taken off the street so far this year.  Sadly, each of those guns removed could have ended like this encounter with Officer Soto.

The vest that saved Officer Soto was one he received through the Get Behind the Vest Campaign. His vest is one of over 8000 vests purchased by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation for Chicago Police Officers. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation realizes that these vests expire and we are dedicated to keeping our officers safe. We have committed to purchasing an additional 500 vests each year to ensure no officer protects the streets without a vest that won’t help protect them. 

Every day there are countless officers out there doing a job that many citizens of Chicago do not want to do.  These are the men and women who walk into a dark alley or gangway looking for the bad guys, they are the ones who answer our calls for help, and risk their lives without giving it a second thought.  Officer Soto is one of those officers and we are proud to make him our Officer of the Month for December presented by Galls.



Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors a Chicago Police Sergeant as part of its Officer of the Month program

This morning, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Chicago Police Sergeant Michael Bazarek who arrested a criminal after he saw an unprovoked attack on a 91 year old man in Chinatown.

On September 18th, Sergeant Michael Bazarek had attended a meeting at Police Headquarters and then traveled into Chinatown looking for a cup of coffee. The sergeant observed a man walking down Wentworth, waving wildly and scaring people off the sidewalk. The Sergeant followed his instinct and continued to follow and observed the man. The man was talking and shouting to himself. Within minutes the man approached an elderly man and punched him square in the face causing the man to fall backward onto the ground and strike his head on the pavement.

Sergeant Bazarek, along with other nearby citizens including an on-duty Cook County Sheriff, went to aid the elderly man. An ambulance was called and the Sergeant returned to his vehicle and followed the offender. The sergeant was armed but without handcuffs or a police radio. He called 911 from his cellphone. Bazarek tailed the offender, giving a description and direction of flight to the dispatcher. The offender walked south to 26th Street then east towards LaSalle Street. As responding police units neared, Sgt Bazarek pulled in front of the suspect, blocking his way and made the arrest.

The elderly victim was taken to the hospital and remained in intensive care for many days.  He faces a long road to recovery.

“He was acting out. He was not hurting anyone, but he was in a very threatening manner ... talking at the sky, talking at the sidewalk and frightening people,” says Sgt Michael Bazarek in describing the offender just before the attack on the 91 year old citizen in Chinatown.

The suspect was charged with numerous counts of aggravated battery including Aggravated Battery on a Senior Citizen. Further investigation revealed the suspect served time in prison for attempted murder and Aggravated Battery on a Senior Citizen. This case highlights another case of a career criminal taken off the street by a Chicago Police Officer.

Sgt Bazarek comes from a police family. His father Gary Bazarek retired as a Captain after 35 years, his uncle served 33 years and his brother Bill worked as a civilian attorney in the law department of the CPD for 27 years. Collectively, they have given nearly 125 years of service to the city of Chicago. In February 2019, Sgt Bazarek faces mandatory retirement but still loves this job and goes after the bad guys just like he did when he came out of the academy over 28 years ago.

He is a great example of police work as a passion and calling, and we are proud to honor him as our November Officer of the Month presented by Galls.  


Governor Bruce Rauner signs Illinois House Bill 5513 into Law

Governor Bruce Rauner will sign Illinois House Bill 5513 into Law benefitting the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

HB 5513 amends the Illinois Lottery Law to include the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation in a scratch-off Illinois Lottery game which benefits Illinois police memorials.

Chicago -
This morning at Gold Star Families Memorial & Park a bill signing ceremony will take place wherein Governor Bruce Rauner will sign Illinois House Bill 5513 into Law. HB 5513 amends the Illinois Lottery Law to include the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation in a scratch-off Illinois Lottery game which benefits Illinois police memorials.

HB 5513 states that the net revenue from that game shall be divided equally for distribution into the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, the Police Memorial Committee Fund, and the Illinois State Police Memorial Fund. The funds shall be used for building and maintaining memorials and parks; holding annual memorial commemorations; giving scholarships to children of officers killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty, providing for the replacement of protective vests; and providing financial assistance to police officers and their families when an officer is killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty. 

"We are excited to have the State of Illinois supporting our men and women in blue by passing this bill. We are looking forward to seeing these scratch off tickets around the state and bringing more support to those who serve their city and state,"says Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Phil Cline.








Area 4 Ride to Remember

Hundreds of Motorcycle Enthusiasts Expected at Chicago Police Area 4 Detectives' 14th Annual Ride to Remember

"I think it is important to honor these fallen heroes, as well as, support their families.  We are undertaking a large event and I feel there will be a huge turnout," explained Chicago Police Sergeant John Roberts, one of the organizers.

The Chicago Police Detective Division sponsors the 14th Annual RIDE TO REMEMBER fundraiser on Sunday, July 29, 2018, benefiting the 

Chicago Police Memorial FoundationThe detectives expect hundreds of Chicago area motorcycle enthusiasts to take part in this worthy event that starts at the former Area 4 Detective Headquarters at the corner of Harrison and Kedzie.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that honors officers killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty. It supports and assists the families of Chicago Police Officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  It was established in 2004, to help build a bridge between the Chicago Police Department and the people these officers protect. The foundation gives voice to the gratitude so many have expressed to these CPD heroes.

Over 580 men and women have died while keeping watch on the citizens who live in the city of Chicago. 

Registration will take place between 7:30 am and 8:30 am on July 29, in the Area 4 parking lot and the ride will start 9:00 am sharp. To take part, a fee of $35 is required per motorcycle and rider. The donation for additional passengers is $35 each. This fee includes a Ride To Remember t-shirt and the after-ride celebration at the Teamsters Local 705 Union Hall at 1645 W. Jackson Blvd. There will be food, live music and refreshments.

The ride leaves Area 4, travels south on the Boulevards and east to Lake Shore Drive.  The ride proceeds north on LSD to the Chicago Police Gold Star Families Memorial Park near Soldier Field, where there will be a short program.  For more information, please visit www.cpdmemorial.org

"I think it is important to honor these fallen heroes, as well as, support their families.  We are undertaking a large event and I feel there will be a huge turnout. We look forward to seeing our fellow riders rain or shine," explained Chicago Police Sergeant John Roberts, one of the organizers. "The ride is open to the public and we are asking everyone to attend and show their support for the Chicago Police Department."