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In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Police Officers Memorial Day, and this week as Police Week in honor of those peace officers who, through their courageous deeds, have lost their lives or have become disabled in the performance of duty. Today, the National Memorial Ceremony is taking place in Washington DC, on the grounds of our Capital, where Officer Bernard W. Domagala and Officer Andre Van Vegten are being honored along with hundreds of other Men and Woman in law enforcement who have made the ultimate sacrifice in 2017.
This morning, we honor four Sergeants and four Officers who took some courageous actions on a quiet Sunday morning last summer. On July 9, 2017, a woman walked into the 025th District station telling officers that her adult son was holding his wife and infant child against their will at gun point in their apartment on LeClaire near Diversey on Chicago’s Northwest side. Officer Luis Lopez and Officer Christian Nunez went to the apartment to try to free the woman and infant. The Officers were able to enter the apartment, safely evacuate the wife and child without incident, however, the offender refused to cooperate with Officers and a standoff ensued. Verbal negotiation was initiated through an open window and support units summoned while Sgt. Michael Keeney and Officer Luis Lopez attempted to talk the subject out of the apartment. The suspect became volatile and refused to comply. The SWAT Team was notified and while securing a perimeter, the offender emerged from the apartment brandishing a handgun and fired it at Officer Lopez. Sgt Keeney returned fire but it did not deter the offender who ran northbound to Diversey and turned east. Responding units pursued the offender who continued to disregard all commands to drop the weapon and surrender to police. Sgt. Sonia Rios was shot at when the offender emerged from a gangway. The offender continued to flee, running through yards, jumping fences refusing all demands to stop and surrender. The offender attempted to hide in a basement stairwell and Officers Rodriguez, Hardt, and Seng all gave verbal direction to drop the gun. The offender emerged with his gun in hand pointing it at officers who fired their weapons at the offender who continued to attempt to flee running northbound in the gangway. Officers positioned at the end of the gangway returned fire ending the threat. The offender was placed into custody, his weapon was recovered and Chicago Fire Paramedics rendered aid; however, the offender ultimately succumbed to his wounds.
The actions of these Officers that day were heroic and a vivid example of how quickly things change in the life of an officer.
“When they awoke that Sunday morning, not one of these Officers were looking forward to an exchange of gunfire with an offender who had held his own family hostage, and then escaped running through a quiet neighborhood shooting indiscriminately. These officers responded to a call for help and took actions to eliminate a threat before anyone else could be harmed. It is something they do every day,” said Phil Cline, Executive Director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
Because of their demonstration of professionalism and bravery, we are proud to honor Sergeants Michael Keeney, Scott Kravitz, Sonia Rios, Erik Seng and Officers Luis Lopez, Christian Nunez, Efrain Rodriguez, and David Hardt and designate them our May Officers of the month present by Galls.
ABOUT THE CHICAGO POLICE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is a not-for- profit organization dedicated to honoring the lives of our fallen heroes. The Foundation provides support and assistance to the families of Chicago Police Officers who were killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty.
Established in 2004, the Foundation strengthens the relationship between the Chicago Police, its business and civic leaders, and its citizenry. It allows us to express our gratitude to the fallen Officers' families for the ultimate sacrifice of their loved one. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $9.5 million to family members of Chicago Police officers in need of assistance.
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For more information about the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and its mission, please visit our website at www.cpdmemorial.org
For event pictures, please click here!
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/
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.
On Thursday, March 1st, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation charted a bus to Springfield to oppose the parole for cop killers Johnny Veal and Willie Lewis. Over two dozen active and retired members of the Chicago Police Department, FOP representatives and the niece of Sergeant James Severin rose early to make the trek down to Springfield for the 9am hearing.
The parole board unanimously ruled to oppose the parole of both Veal and Lewis. The board also agreed to a three year set before these killers have the right to another parole hearing. Board members have expressed how impactful the presence of these officers are on the board during these hearing. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation will continue to vehemently oppose the parole of these cop killers to ensure the sacrifices of these fallen officers and of the families left behind are not forgotten.
The Foundation thanks the men and woman who made the trip downstate today, forever grateful that they continue to stand by their fallen officers. We will Never Forget!
Statement from the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation on the tragic loss of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation joins all Chicagoans, the Chicago Police Department and all of our brothers and sisters in law enforcement in mourning today’s senseless loss of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer.
Commander Bauer’s tragic passing is all the more painful to us because Paul was a friend of the Foundation and enthusiastically gave of his time and talents to support our mission to never forget the brave men and women who died in service to this great city.
The idea that Paul would act so unselfishly and would sacrifice his own safety for the safety of the people of Chicago and his fellow officers comes as no surprise to those of us who knew him. That does little to lessen the pain that we are all experiencing over this tragic loss, however.
We stand alongside Paul’s wife, daughter, family, colleagues and friends as they grieve this tragic loss. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation will provide whatever comfort, support and assistance it can to Paul’s family and loved ones. We will honor Paul’s legacy as we honor all the lives of our fallen heroes, by ensuring that the sacrifice he and his family made today is always remembered, respected and revered.
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Today, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Officer Corry Williams, Detectives Robert Smith and Matthew McDonough, and Sergeant John Pellegrini for incidents involving armed robberies and carjackings that have plagued the Chicago area.
The first incident occurred on December 1st in the Beverly neighborhood near the home of Sergeant John Pellegrini, a 27 year veteran assigned to Area South Detective Bureau. Sgt Pellegrini had just put his car away in his own garage when he spotted a suspect approaching him. The suspect demanded money and pointed an automatic handgun at the Sergeant. The sergeant told the suspect “you can have anything you want’ and saw the suspect use both hands to rack the slide of the gun back. Fearing for his own life, and knowing his family was just steps away, the sergeant pulled out his own handgun and fired at the suspect, who stumbled briefly, dropped his gun and although wounded, managed to run away. The sergeant chased the suspect and notified police of the robbery, giving a detailed description of the suspect and direction of flight. Chicago Police detectives and Evergreen Park police responded and were able to secure witnesses and evidence that led to the capture of the juvenile offender who is suspected of numerous other armed violence offences in the Beverly area.
The next incident occurred on December 18th around 6:30 pm, when Officer Corry Williams, an 18 year police officer, was sitting in his own car just a few blocks from police headquarters. Officer Williams was off duty when he was approached by two suspects, one who tapped on the passenger side window to distract him while the second suspect opened his car door and brandished a handgun, demanding his car. Utilizing his training, Officer Williams fired a single shot into the suspect. The police were called and an ambulance arrived who took the suspect to the hospital. A hand gun was recovered at the scene. The 18 year old suspect had an extensive criminal record and was charged with attempted vehicular hijacking with a firearm, attempted robbery with a firearm and aggravated assault. The second suspect escaped.
Lastly, we are pleased to honor Area Central Bureau Detectives Robert Smith and Matthew McDonough, for capturing a crew of suspects possibly involved in over two dozen incidents of armed violence, including robberies and carjackings. In October and November last year, there were nearly 40 cases of armed robberies in the Westtown and Ukranian Village area. The detectives, with a combined 37 years of experience among them, and due to their knowledge of the various gangs and robbery crews in the area, identified a pattern, and started to piece the evidence together, identifying one crew in particular. The detectives used a photo array of the suspects showing these to numerous victims who identified them as the armed robbers. While continuing the investigation, they monitored a radio call of a carjacking that just occurred near Chicago and Racine and soon police spotted the suspects who lead the police on a chase onto the Eisenhower expressway into Oak Park where the suspects crashed the vehicle and fled on foot. Numerous police officers from Chicago and Oak Park helped to capture two offenders and recovered a semi-automatic handgun with an extended clip, just like the one used in the multiple robberies. The detectives identified additional offenders and four suspects were charged in seven aggravated vehicular hijackings and armed robberies. We believe that an additional 15 cases will be cleared by these arrests and yet another 12 to 15 cases are waiting the processing of additional evidence that might lead to more charges.
This morning we honor these fine men as an example of good police work done by countless officers every single day. When asked about these incidents, Deputy Chief Kevin Ryan of Area Central said:
“These incidents illustrate not only our Police Officers professionalism, dedication and heroism, but further show that even off-duty, they hold to their oaths, and uphold the expectations of their vocations. They refuse to allow criminals to prey on our communities.”
This morning, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is honored to make these four men our February Officers of the Month. Officer Corry Williams; Detective Robert Smith, Detective Matthew McDonough, and Sergeant John Pellagrini.
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