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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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 Foundation. The 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."
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is disheartened by the news of the release of Cop Killer Jackie Wilson. We stand with the families of Richard J. O’Brien and William Fahey and ensure all that we will NEVER FORGET.