Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Honors of Five Fallen Chicago Police Officers on Memorial Wall
Commander Bauer, Captian Palczynski and Officers Domagala, Van Vegten and
Hourihan ensrhined on memorial wall at Gold Star Families Memorial and Park.
Chicago (April 20, 2018) – The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation today paid tribute to four
fallen Chicago Police officers whose deaths occurred in previous decades by adding their names
to the memorial wall at Gold Star Families Memorial and Park.
At a solemn ceremony this evening attended by family members of the fallen officers, Chicago
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and supporters of the Chicago Police Memorial
Foundation, the names of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer, Captain Palczynski and
Officers Domagala and Van Vegten (information on each officer is below) were displayed for
the first time on the memorial wall at the Chicago Police Memorial on Chicago’s lakefront.
Probationary Police Officer Frank Hourihan, who was killed while serving in the U.S. Army in
1918, was honored on a plaque commemorating Chicago Police officers who died while serving
in the military.
Their names join an honor roll of 578 other Chicago Police heroes who were killed or died while
serving their city.
“Today, Commander Bauer, Captain Palczynski and Officers Domagala and Van Vegten take
their rightful place among hundreds of true heroes who gave their lives to this city,” said
Chicago Police Memorial Foundation executive director Philip J. Cline. “By etching their names
in stone at our memorial, we are keeping our promise to “Never Forget” the men and women
who sacrificed everything on behalf of the citizens of Chicago.”
Three of the names are those of officers who died in recent months. Officer Domagala died in
September, 2017 as the result of being shot during a hostage standoff in 1988. Officer Van
Vegten died in November 2017 from complications related to an incident where his squad car
was struck by another vehicle while he and his partner were responding to a call of shots fired in
1997. Commander Bauer was killed in February after being shot while pursuing an armed
offender who was fleeing other officers.
The addition of Captain Palczynski to the memorial wall and of PPO Hourihan to the military
honors plaque come as the result of research conducted by Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
staff and volunteers who interview surviving family members and ancestors and comb over old
police reports, news accounts and pension board files to determine whether officer deaths were
related to their duties as Chicago Police officers.
As a result of that research, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has identified and honored
31 officers since 2010.
BACKGROUND ON OFFICERS BEING ENSHRINED ON THE MEMORIAL WALL
Captain Joseph Palczynski
End of Watch: 5 March 1935
Captain Joseph Palczynski was a nearly 50 -veteran of the Chicago Police Department and
assigned to the Detective Bureau at 1121 South State Street at the time of his death. On March
5, 1935, Captain Palczynski was working in the Women’s Court room at 11 th and State when a
riot broke out in the courtroom. During the melee, Captain Palczynski suffered a fatal heart
attack while pushing into the crowd in an attempt to restore the peace. He was shoved to the
floor and pummeled by several offenders. He was carried into the judge’s chambers and later
pronounced dead on the scene. No charges were filed in connection with Captain Palczynski’s
death. He was survived by his wife, Tillie, and children, Helen, Joseph Jr., William, Edward,
Casimir and Walter.
Police Officer Bernard Domagala
End of Watch: 5 September 2017
Police Officer Bernie Domagala was a 7-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department and a
member of the HBT Unit. Shortly before his shift was over on the afternoon of July 14th 1988,
Bernie responded to a hostage situation at 7237 S. Stony Island Avenue. Officers surrounded the
property, and Bernie had taken a defensive position at the corner of the garage. He looked around
the corner at the house, and in that split second the offender shot his gun hitting Bernie above his
eye in the forehead. He was transported to Michael Reese Hospital where he underwent 6 hours
of surgery to remove a bullet from his brain. Bernie was 37 years old at the time, with a wife,
Denise, and three young sons: Erik was 4, and twins Craig and Adam were 4 months old.
Bernie never recovered from his injuries and spent the next twenty-nine years in traumatic brain
injury care centers, rehab facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. Through it all, and thanks to
the constant love and support from Denise, Erik, Craig and Adam, Bernie never lost his smile.
Bernie passed away on September 5, 2017 due to complications from injuries sustained in the
shooting. Officer Bernard Domagala was laid to rest in St. Casimir Cemetery in Chicago, IL.
He is survived by his wife, Denise, and sons Erik, Craig and Adam.
Police Officer Andre Van Vegten
End of Watch: 2 November 2017
On the evening of January 7, 1997 while assigned to the 8th District, Officer Van Vegten and his
partner responded to a “shots fired” call at 43rd and Latrobe Avenue near the LeClaire Courts
public housing development. En route to the scene, the officers spotted a vehicle containing four
known gang members who immediately fled northbound on Cicero Avenue at a high rate of
speed. Before Officer Van Vegten and his partner could even radio in the pursuit, another vehicle
veered into their lane of traffic and they were forced to take evasive action. The officers’ police
vehicle struck the center-lane curb and crashed into a concrete planter. They were pulled from
the wreckage of their burning squad car by passing motorists just seconds before the entire
vehicle was engulfed in flames.
Officer Van Vegten was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition. He suffered a
collapsed lung, a shattered right femur and a broken rib which had pierced his aorta. The rapid
blood loss from that injury left him paralyzed from the chest down and legally blind. After
emerging from a six-week coma, the officer underwent several surgeries at Northwestern
Memorial Hospital and was transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for therapy.
In the following years, Officer Van Vegten suffered through numerous surgeries and
continuously battled infections and wounds that required months or years to heal. Officer Andre
Van Vegten is survived by his daughter, Jennifer, who was only three-years old at the time of the
Commander Paul Bauer
End of Watch: 13 February 2018
Commander Paul Bauer was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a subject who had just run
from other officers near the James R. Thompson Center, a state government office building.
Other officers had attempted to conduct a subject stop on the man in connection with a shooting
that had occurred several days earlier. The subject fled from the officers. Commander Bauer,
who in the area for a meeting, observed the subject at the government building and attempted to
stop him in a stairwell. The subject opened fire, killing Commander Bauer. The offender was
taken into custody moments later.
Commander Bauer had served with the Chicago Police Department for 32 years and served as
commander of the 18th District. He is survived by his wife, Erin, and daughter, Grace.
BACKGROUND ON OFFICER BEING MEMORIALIZED ON A SPECIAL PLAQUE
COMMEMORATING CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS KILLED WHILE SERVING IN
THE US MILITARY
Probationary Police Officer Frank Hourihan
End of Watch: 17 August 1918
PPO Frank Hourihan was on leave from the Chicago Police Department where he was assigned
to the 3 rd District. Hourihan was serving as a Private in the US Army in Company C of the 311 th
Supply Train. He was killed when he lost control of the truck he was driving and the vehicle
Pictures from the event: https://cpdmemorial.smugmug.com/Name-Unveiling-Ceremony-April-20-2018/