This morning we honor Lieutenant John Garrido who has been with the Chicago Police Department for over 27 years and is presently assigned to the 016th district. For many years John passed a newsstand at the busy intersection of Foster, Milwaukee and Central, watching as it became more and more run down with every passing season. John decided to investigate, learn who it belonged to and the rest of the story behind this newsstand. John found it empty but filled with recent newspapers. He learned that the stand was utilized on Sunday mornings when Mr. Anthony Johnson used the stand to sell the Sunday papers to the community and passing drivers. The stand was an eyesore, needed a new roof, new door, replacement of rotted wood and had no insulation. John also learned Mr. Anthony Johnson was an Air Force Veteran who had fallen on hard times and was now homeless.
John decided to enlist the community to transform the stand to its former glory and in turn, give Mr. Johnson a warmer place to sell the papers during Chicago’s harsh winter months. John posted it on FaceBook and the community stepped up with donations to replace the roof, the sides, the door that wouldn’t lock and a Police Officer and artist, Peter Buck volunteered his talents to paint murals on each side depicting the community and the man selling the newspapers. Community Business people came out of the woodwork including Tony Marino of Marino Jeep who helped to buy Johnson all new winter attire to help him stay a little warmer during these brutal months. John also established a GoFundMe page with a goal to help Anthony get back on his feet.
That goal has raised over $7,500 to be used to help cover the cost of an apartment for Mr. Johnson.
Lieutenant Garrido is another example of the core of the Chicago Police Officers who take seriously the serve part of their oath “to serve and Protect.”
John serves his community volunteering his time on various councils and even helps out our four legged friends when he established the Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation – an organization that reunites lost dogs with their owners or finds new homes for the abused or abandoned. He has long been a supporter of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and produces the Battle of the Bands, an event that showcases bands made up of First Responders with proceeds donated to our foundation and Chicago Fire Department charities.
This morning we honor Lieutenant John Garrido as an example of community service and outreach to make our city just a little bit better, a Chicago Police Officer truly making a difference. It is with great pride that we call Lieutenant John Garrido, our March Officer of the Month.