Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors five Chicago Police Officers and one Sergeant as part of its Officer of the Month program

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors a Chicago Police Sergeant and five Chicago Police Officers who saved the life of a man who fell into Lake Michigan after trying to retrieve his dog.

On January 27th, around 1:00pm in the afternoon, Field Training Officer Miguel Del Toro was patrolling the lakefront and learned from a citizen that a man had fallen into the lake.

The officer quickly alerted the radio zone, and witnesses directed FTO Miguel Del Toro to the area of the victim -- 200 feet out on the ice at the water's edge. Officer Adam O’Campo, Officer Brian Richards, Field Training Officer Andrew Larson, Probationary Police Officer Eithan Ferman, and Sgt Alejandro Silva quickly responded. The CFD was notified, but the Officers knew they could not wait as the victim was in dire need of help. The air temperature was 9 degrees and the water was a dangerous 34. While the victim was able to lift his dog to safety, he remained submerged in the freezing water just off the ice shelf.

The victim was quickly becoming disorientated. He was losing control of his hands and feet, and it was obvious to all that he would not survive much longer. Responding Officers O'Campo and Richards, FTOs Del Toro and Larson, and Sgt Alejandro Silva braved the ice over the water and approached the victim. The situation was so precarious, with the ice unstable, that the officers fell repeatedly. Sgt Silva literally put his foot through the thin ice into the water beneath. Several of the officers suffered injuries, though thankfully none severe.

Disregarding their own safety, the officers quickly formed a human chain on the ice at Sgt Silva's direction. They improvised, using a dog leash borrowed from a witness, and were able to reach the victim in the water. They quickly dragged him out to safety. At the same time, Probationary Police Officer Ferman straddled that same dangerous ice shelf and retrieved the victim’s dog, a 9 month old American Eskimo mix. The victim was transported to Weiss Hospital, where he was treated for exposure to the intensely cold water.

While in the lake, his core body temperature had dropped to 93 degrees. In his own words, his hands had become "flipper-like" and difficult to use. He was in water "the height of his head" and he could find no way out. The victim stated "I have no doubt I would have died without help, I am forever grateful to them." Both the victim and his dog, made a full recovery. News of the event, along with the dramatic body camera footage, quickly became a major news story both locally, nationally and even internationally.

In a time when law enforcement faces criticism and second guessing by those who believe they can do the job better, these officers were able to show the bravery and selflessness that police officers exhibit on a daily basis. The actions of all of these officers and citizens who assisted them are to be praised. In particular, Officers Adam O’Campo, Brian Richards, Field Training Officers Miguel Del Toro and Andrew Larson, and Sergeant Alejandro Silva showed exceptional courage and performance in the face of danger to their own safety and well-being. They disregarded this danger to themselves in order to save the life of the victim. It is because of their actions that we are proud to make them our April Officers of the Month presented by Galls.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honored 3 CPD Officers, who acted heroically during the Mercy Hospital Tragedy that took the lives of 3 Chicagoans on November 19, 2018.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Chicago Police Lieutenant Jacob Alderden, Officer Elvis Turcinovic and Officer Bernardo Quijano as representation of the scores of Officers who acted heroically during the Mercy Hospital Tragedy that took the lives of three outstanding Chicagoans on November 19, 2018. 

The tragedy started as a domestic incident, an assignment police officers handle often. Most end peacefully after some negotiations and wisdom from the Officers involved; however, this was not the case and before the day was over, Chicago lost Dr. Tamara O'Neal, pharmaceutical resident Dayna Less and Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez. The call came through as a shooter at Mercy Hospital and the Chicago Police responded. These Officers drove and ran into danger because that is what they do; they answer the call for help. That sad afternoon scores of officers responded, and we can’t possibly honor each and every one of them, therefore we are honoring three officers, as a representation of all that were there that afternoon. 

When Lieutenant Alderden arrived he immediately ran into the hospital and with Officer Samuel Jimenez at his side they located the suspected shooter who they pursued even deeper into the hospital. The SWAT unit responded and Officer Turcinovic worked in tandem with the two officers to pursue the shooter.

Prior to this, the shooter had already shot Dr. Tamara O’Neal in the parking lot, then had returned inside and shot resident Danya Less. Numerous Officers continued to arrive at the hospital and saw the doctor down on the ground, risking their own lives, the Officers moved their vehicles to shield the injured Doctor; however she was still in harm’s way. Officer Bernarndo Quijano, along with a few other officers, ran to her and attempted to pull her behind the cars to safety. As they did this, the assailant shot at the officers and Officer Bernardo Quijano was hit by gunfire. Luckily, the bullet went through his holster and lodged in his gun. The officers had briefly taken cover, but they returned and moved the wounded doctor out of additional directed gunfire from the assailant.

Inside the hospital, Officers Jimenez, Turcinovic and Lieutenant Alderden pursued the assailant losing sight of him briefly as he went around another corner at the end of a long hallway. The three officers all ran toward where they had last seen the active shooter at which time the offender reappeared from the corner firing several rounds striking Officer Jimenez in the neck. Other Officers worked to render aide to Officer Jimenez while Officer Elvis Turinovic took action and shot the assailant. The gunman was wounded but used his own gun to end his life, shooting himself fatally. While the immediate threat seemed to be eliminated, the police continued on, searching every part of the hospital to make sure there was not another shooter. 

The courageous acts of these three officers represent just a fraction of the good work that was done by scores of officers that afternoon. Collectively they rendered aide to victims, acted as a shield for victims, put themselves in harm’s way to protect others and showed compassion and bravery in one of the most horrific days of their entire career. It was a sad, tragic day for the city, the department and our country, but it was a day that showed the world that the Chicago Police will always be there, through good or bad times, and even while experiencing the worst day any officer can imagine. Every one of those officers both inside and outside the hospital acted with courage and bravery and wore their badges proudly. Without question had it not been for the immediate response of all of the officers, the offender who was armed with multiple magazines could have taken more lives.

Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez who selflessly gave his life that day at Mercy Hospital will be honored later this year, when we add his name to the wall at Gold Star Families Memorial & Park as well as at the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s Valor Award Dinner in October.

This morning, while we present the Officer of the Month to these three men, we realize it is not a single effort of any one person, but a tribute to everyone who responded that cold November afternoon and answered the call. As representatives of all Chicago Police Officers on at Mercy Hospital on November 19th, we present the award to Lieutenant Jacob Alderden, Officer Elvis Turcinovic and Officer Bernardo Quijano.

We are proud to make them our March Officers of the Month presented by Galls.   

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.

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

Tomorrow morning the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation names Chicago Police Officer Timothy Kroski their January Officer of the Month.

On December 27th, a little before 3:30 in the afternoon, a 27-year-old woman was walking in front of her home in the Lakeview neighborhood when a man pointed a gun at her and demanded her wallet and cell phone. The woman gave up her debit card and a gift card she had received earlier that week as a Christmas present.

Although the man demanded the cell phone, she refused to give it up and the man took off with her cards, running north to Belmont and then east toward the CTA Red Line Station. The victim called the police, giving a detailed description of the robber, including that he was wearing a black and red sweatshirt.

At this same time, Officer Kroski and other members of the 19th District were in the area and monitored the description of the robber and figured that he might be headed for the Red Line to escape. Officers Kroski and his partners Officer Caravia and Officer Luthy responded to the robbery call and ran to the Belmont Station to see if he was inside. While Officers Caravia and Luthy took one set of stairs, Officer Kroski took a different set which led him onto the middle of the platform with a train about to depart. Officer Kroski scoured each train car, looking for the robbery offender and as the doors began to close, he spots a man wearing a red and black sweatshirt inside the car. Officer Kroski reached into the car, forcing open the doors and grabbed the robbery offender bringing him back onto the train platform. Officer Caravia and Luthy assisted with the pat down of the suspect, finding a handgun in his waistband.  The victim’s bank and gift cards were still in the hand of the robber as Officer Kroski pulled him off the train. The robber was brought down to street level and the victim was brought to the train station where she positively identified him as the man who robbed her at gunpoint.

Further investigation revealed that the suspect who just turned 18 had an extensive juvenile record and had been arrested just nine days earlier for carrying a gun on the CTA. It turns out the gun was a replica, but it is likely that this victim could not have made that distinction when she had a gun pointed at her during a robbery.

This highlights the good work done every day by Chicago Police Officers around the city who took more than 9500 guns off the streets in 2018. We are proud to make Officer Timothy Kroski our January Officer of the Month.   

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

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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.  

Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors five Chicago Police Officers as part of its Officer of the Month program

This morning the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors five Chicago Police Officers who helped to save one of their own while taking yet another gun off the streets of Chicago. 

On August 4th at 2:45 AM, Officer Justin Simik-Valadez and his partner gathered detailed information from a citizen concerning a man who had been involved in an earlier shooting that day including the vehicle of the man and description of the gun. Officer Simik-Valadez shared the information with officers over the radio and directed the Officers to where the car was now parked.  They performed surveillance on the vehicle, waiting until the offender returned to his car.  After the offender entered the vehicle, the police attempted to perform an investigatory stop on it; the vehicle took off but was caught in traffic.  Suddenly, the offender jumped from the car and fled on foot.  The offender ran down the street and cut into a yard with the police on his heels. The yard was surrounded by a wrought iron fence with pointed stakes atop it but that didn’t stop the police. Officers Patrick Casey and Taylor Golden moved a bookcase next to the fence and Officer Casey scaled the fence, landing atop a garbage can while supporting himself on the roof of a garage.  Suddenly the garbage can slipped out from under Officer Casey and he found himself impaled on a metal spear of the fence.  Officer Casey pulled his arm off of the fence and the blood started to flow.  Officer Casey was now trapped in the yard, losing blood. Officer Taylor called for an ambulance and asked for a tourniquet to stop the flow of blood.  Meanwhile, responding Officers captured the offender nearby on Chicago Ave.

After receiving a tourniquet, Officer Golden reached through the fence and fastened the tourniquet on his arm. Officer Justin Simik-Valadez, responded and started packing the gaping wound with clotting gauze.  Officer Joshua Plum applied direct pressure to stop the massive loss of blood. Other Officers directed Casey to the front of the yard and multiple units responded, including Gang Officers Herman Otero and Anthony Pavon.  Officer Otero served seven years in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and took immediate action, delivering pressure to the brachial artery in an attempt to stop the loss of blood.  Sgt Todd Reyejak (RAKE-Lynn) determined that they couldn’t wait for the ambulance, and directed gang crimes officers to take Casey to Stroger Hospital.  They laid Casey in the back seat of the squad and Officer Otero and Officer Plum continued to apply pressure on the wound while Officer Pavon drove the squad to the hospital.  Officer Casey was turning ashen when they arrived at the hospital. He was treated by the ER staff, given blood, and eventually went into surgery.  The doctors said that without the team effort of all the officers who helped that night, Officer Casey might easily have bled to death.

We are proud to salute these officers and commend them for their heroic efforts that saved a police officer who was going after the bad guy, working to take another gun off the street while most of us are asleep comfortably in our beds.

These officers respond to dangerous situations, and while most people turn and run away, they go after the criminals knowing that every illegal gun removed, helps make the streets a little safer.

This morning we honor Officers Patrick Casey, Taylor Golden, Justin Simik-Valadez, Joshua Plum and Herman Otero.  Without this group effort, we may have lost an Officer that night and be adding another name alongside the 582 others inscribed at Gold Star Families Memorial and Park.  It is our honor to make them our October Officers of the Month, presented by Galls.   

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

This morning, at the Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Chicago Police Officer Steven Ommundson for saving the lives of 3 Chicago citizens.

On 06 July 2018 at approximately 7:45 pm, Chicago Police Officers Steven Ommundson, Matthew McKenna, Elizabeth Wilson, and Lesley Watkins responded to a Marine Distress call at Loyola Park Beach at 1230 W. Greenleaf.  When they arrived, three teenagers told them that they were swimming in the lake and the rip current pulled two of their other friends away from the shore.  The officers spotted one of the victims struggling in the water, and Officer Steven Ommundson removed his uniform and gun belt and charged into the water without regard for his own safety. 

Officer Wilson also ran into the water to save the victims while their partners, Officers McKenna and Watkins maintained radio contact and summoned additional help from the Marine Unit and Chicago Fire Department. Officer Ommundson, a former Chicago Park District lifeguard swam through the intense eight-foot waves and reached one of the victims, pulling her onto shore and delivering her to paramedics who treated her and eventually transported the 13-year-old girl to St. Francis Hospital where she was listed in fair condition. Officer Ommundson selflessly re-entered the water to search for the second victim and saw that Officer Wilson and another citizen were now trapped on the break wall being pummeled by the waves and in danger of being swept into the lake. Officer Ommundson swam through the water and reached Officer Wilson, preventing her from being swept away by the current.  He then helped Officer Wilson to move along the jetty, closer towards the shore, where Fire Personnel entered the water and helped remove Officer Wilson from the lake.  

Officer Ommundson re-entered the water for a third time, swimming through the waves and eventually reaching a male citizen who had also attempted to rescue the teenage girls but was now stranded and clinging to the jetty and in fact now naked, as the waves had torn off his clothes.   At this point, the CFD responders tossed a life ring to Officer Ommundson, who passed it to the male citizen.  With the citizen in tow, Officer Ommundson made his way to the shore, where the exhausted citizen was treated by paramedics. The other teenage victim was spotted floating in the water unresponsive by CPD Marine Officers sometime later that evening. The girl was pulled from the water and taken to St Francis but she succumbed and was pronounced at the hospital.

Officer Ommundson is an example of a Chicago Police Officer who started a life of public service early as a lifeguard and moved into police work. Officer Ommundson was in the first class of Chicago Police Cadets when the program was brought back in 2005. The Cadet program allows young people to work and learn about the police department while in college.  Executive Director and retired Superintendent Phil Cline was a Cadet in 1968 and he restarted the Cadet program in 2005. The Cadet program has lapsed but Superintendent Eddie Johnson has brought it back as a way to mentor young folks into a career on the CPD.

Officer Ommundson service continues today as he keeps the streets safe in Chicago’s Rogers Park.  In a heartbeat, this Officer stripped down to his underwear and swam into danger to save a citizen. We are grateful that the CPD has many Officers like Steven Ommundson who act to save lives without giving it a second thought. Tragically, Lake Michigan took one young girl that evening, but we might have lost three others if not for the actions of Officer Ommundson. We commend him for his bravery, and proudly make him our September Officer of the Month presented by Galls.

Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors a Chicago Police Lieutenant and two Chicago Police Officers as part of its Officer of the Month program

This morning, August 14, 2018, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Chicago Police Lieutenant Antonio Baio and Officers Robert Roth and Agnieszka Broniec. These officers stopped a man who was trying to jump off a bridge onto the Kennedy expressway during rush hour.

On July 16th, Chicago Police Lieutenant Baio was on his way to work when he encountered a disturbance on the Nagle Bridge over the Kennedy expressway on Chicago’s northwest side.  Lieutenant Baio saw a visibly upset man walking in between cars, along with a CTA bus at a standstill.  Baio exited his car to investigate the matter and approached the man asking him what was going on. 

The victim told Lieutenant “this isn’t going to end well, and it may be a suicide by cop.” Baio replied that it’s not going to happen in an attempt to defuse the situation. The man jumped on top of a cement wall and scaled a fence in an attempt to jump onto the Kennedy expressway. Lieutenant Baio grabbed on to the waist of the man to prevent him from climbing higher and over the fence.  Simultaneously, two officers from the Jefferson Park police district who had just completed their midnight shift and were en route to court saw the disturbance and ran to aid Lieutenant Baio.  Officer Robert Roth jumped onto the fence and climbed above the man, pulling the tightly gripped hands off of the chain-link fence to control him and pull him away from danger. Working in tandem, Lieutenant Baio and Officer Roth were able to pull the man from the fence onto the ground where Officer Broniec used her handcuffs to control the man and stop his efforts to hurt himself.

An ambulance arrived and the man was taken to the hospital for treatment. Upon further investigation, it was learned that the man was distraught over a domestic relationship and was determined to harm himself using the CTA bus or jumping from the bridge.

This event highlights that even when off duty, a Chicago Police Officer will step up and jump into action to handle a situation and in this case save a life.  

Today, more than ever, an officer’s job is not an easy one. These Officers are trained to handle difficult situations, and they must quickly make a determination of the event and act on it. If they weren’t there, another family could have lost a loved one. If you ask if they are heroes, they will likely deny they are, and say they are just doing their job, but in this case, they weren’t at work, they were two men and woman who saw a situation and took action without concern for their own well-being.  It is our honor to make them our August Officers of the Month, presented by Galls.      

July 2018

Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors two Chicago police sergeants and five Chicago police officers as part of its Officer of the Month program

This morning the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors two Chicago Police Sergeants and five Chicago Police Officers who helped save two women from a house fire. 

On May 9th, Chicago Police Officers from the 4th district were handling a domestic disturbance near 79th and Muskegon. While typically the Officers are called in to restore peace, sometimes the disturbance can turn ugly and violent. The wrong words or actions can easily send the situation into a dangerous place. That night, this domestic was one with two longtime partners who would not listen to the responding officers. A supervisor was called in to assist. Sergeant Scott Hall responded and even with additional resources, the disagreement raged on until the decision was made to arrest both partners.  By this time, additional Officers had responded to help out, including another supervisor, Sergeant Carlos Sanchez.  The offenders were placed in squads and all were ready to move to the next assignment when a man ran from his house directly across the street screaming that his wife and daughter were trapped in their home that was now on fire.

Without missing a beat, the officers moved from enforcers of peace to lifesavers. Officer Deonvelle Lamon kicked in the front door and Sergeants Hall and Sanchez went inside screaming for the women to follow their voices.  They searched for victims and heard a woman screaming behind a bedroom door. Sergeant Sanchez kicked at the door but it would not open. The dense smoke caused the officers to head outside to catch their breath and regroup.

Additional Officers responded and searched for another entrance to the house. Sergeant Hall and Officers headed to the rear of the building where Lamon kicked in the rear door. Officers Lyle Jandecek, Timothy Griffin and Robert Skrobot followed Hall and Lamon into the rear of the building. The smoke was so thick the Officers had to crawl on their hands and knees to search for the women. Miraculously, Lamon heard a voice and was able to pull the mother to safety.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Sanchez continued to try to bust down the bedroom door but the flames and smoke were intolerable causing them to retreat outside to regroup. They learned from the father that his daughter was wheelchair bound. The Sergeants returned into the burning building a third time to attempt to rescue the daughter. The daughter’s bedroom door was engulfed in flames and the officers continued to try to break it down; however, the deadly smoke overtook the Officers and Sergeants forcing them to again leave the building. Officer Yuan made a final attempt to rescue the daughter but he too was quickly overcome by the thick smoke and retreated outside.

At this point, the Chicago Fire Department arrived and the officers led them to where the daughter could be found. The Chicago Fire Department went in and rescued the daughter who was trapped in her bed. The ceiling had collapsed blocking the door which is why the Officers were not able to open it.

The mother and daughter were taken to the hospital. The mother survived, but sadly, weeks later, the daughter succumbed to her severe burns.


Sergeants Hall and Sanchez were transported by ambulance to the University of Chicago Hospital where Sergeant Sanchez was released after some medical treatment. Some of the other Officers were also treated by medical personnel and released; however, Sergeant Scott Hall was hospitalized and suffered permanent injuries to his respiratory system.

The officers that evening did what many police officers do on every watch in this city -- they come when people ask for help. When these officers and sergeants responded to a call of a domestic disturbance, they never imagined they would be risking their lives to save others in a house fire but it was what their job called for that night,” said Phil Cline, Executive Director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

Today, more than ever, their jobs are not easy ones. These Officers are called to make tough decisions, and on that morning, they worked as a team with one goal to save the mother and daughter. Doing so without concern for their own wellbeing.  It is our honor to award these heroes with our appreciation and we proudly make them our July Officers of the Month, presented by Galls.      


June 2018

Today, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Retired Chicago Police Officer Robert Olson who served the city for 39 years and 11 months.  Officer Olson utilized his training and experience when confronted by an armed assailant who wanted his car. The carjacker, a repeat felon, was out on the street on early release from prison, having been previously convicted of a robbery and gun charge.

The carjacking occurred on April 25, 2018, a Wednesday evening when Robert had planned to join some friends at a local Bridgeport establishment for dinner. As he got close to the restaurant he looked for a place to park his car and found one near 29th and Shields.

Although Robert had been retired for over 6 years, his instincts and observational skills are still sharp. Robert noticed three young guys milling around the corner and pondered what they were planning. As Robert parked, he observed the three guys were gone and assumed they just went on their way. What Robert didn’t know is that this crew had crouched down behind a car, hiding so they could surprise Robert and catch him off guard. Robert got out of his car quickly slamming the door and was confronted by the felon who pointed the gun directly at him while running toward him, shouting “I’ll kill you, give me the car.”

Robert Olson retired honorably after nearly 40 years but the police tradition of service continues. Robert’s son, also named Robert Olsen is presently on the CPD working in the Detective division. Robert’s grandson is also named Robert Olson, but he chose another path, going to law school at the University of Illinois. What is interesting is that earlier this year, he also was a victim of carjacking. The young man was in Hyde Park when he was carjacked. The suspect pointed a gun, demanded the car and luckily, the youngest Robert Olsen was not hurt, but he did lose the car. After this robbery, Robert was concerned as these carjackings seemed to continue to increase citywide. 

Robert Olsen continues to carry a gun to protect his family and his life as most retired police officers do. On that evening when his life was threatened by the carjacker, he acted instinctively as police do. Robert shot the suspect once without hesitation and the felon fell to the ground. As the felon lay on the street, his accomplice asked Robert not to shoot him saying “Don’t shoot me, I don’t have a gun,” which implies he knew exactly what they were doing – working together as a crew out carjacking innocent people. Robert ordered the accomplice to the ground and called 911 while the third suspect took off running.  The police arrived; the shot felon was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The police recovered the felon’s gun and arrested the accomplice. The third suspect was eventually arrested, but the States Attorney’s office chose not to charge either accomplice and both were released. Robert was told that the accomplices were not armed so they wouldn’t be charged.

“Over the last few months, we have honored a few Officers who have stopped carjackings from occurring. We are thankful for the police, both active and retired, that are constantly surveying their surroundings to ensure the safety of themselves and others,” said Phil Cline, Executive Director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

The felon in this case is suspected of other robberies after his early release, and the police believe he committed an earlier carjacking at about 8:00am on that fateful morning that he tried to rob Robert Olson. 

This morning we are happy to present this award to Robert Olson. Without his training and life experiences as a law enforcement officer, it could have gone the other way, and we would be mourning his loss.  Please join us in honoring retired Officer Robert Olson, as our June Officer of the Month presented by Galls.



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. 

For more information about the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and its mission, please visit our website at


May 2018

Chicago –
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is proud to partner with Galls for our Officer of the Month Award. Galls services the needs of law enforcement, military, security, fire, ems, postal, public transportation and more! Galls also offers an extensive selection of products and brands, competitive prices, responsive service, fast deliveries, and seamless ordering. Galls is proud to serve America’s public safety professionals.

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.


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

April 2018

This morning, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors two Chicago Police Officers for their bravery. On December 6th, 2017, around midnight, Officer Michael Fazy and his partner, Officer Brandon Kirby observed two suspects standing near a gas station at 95th and King Drive. It was near zero degrees that night and the officers, aware of numerous car jackings that had taken place in the area, thought they should question the subjects, finding out why they were standing out in the cold.  As they approached the subjects, one subject took off, and Officer Kirby followed him on foot while Officer Fazy followed in the squad car. Officer Kirby broadcast the direction of flight while Officer Fazy drove parallel to him in the car.

The subject crossed numerous streets, heading south, running through yards and jumping fences to escape the officers. Officer Fazy drove south to head him off, exited the car to stop the subject while ordering him to show his hands and stop. The subject turned and ran away, around a garage and into a yard where Officer Kirby saw a weapon in the suspects hand and watched as the subject raised the gun shoulder high and fire directly at him. Officer Kirby saw the muzzle flash and hit the ground to avoid the gunfire. Officer Kirby called in a 10-1, shots fired at the police and returned fire. The subject ran back toward Officer Fazy and fired at him, striking Officer Fazy in the hand and in the upper left shoulder area of his vest. The bullet was lodged in Officer Fazy’s vest. Although wounded, Officer Fazy returned fire at the subject who continued to flee.

Additional officers responded to the 10-1 and were able to capture the subject a short distance away from the encounter. The police recovered two guns, a glock .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine and a revolver. The suspect was a felon with multiple convictions for UUW, theft, fleeing and eluding the police and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

This case reminds us the dangers faced everyday by the men and women who patrol our streets. Officer Kirby will never forget the muzzle flash he saw that morning and Officer Fazy recalls that when he was shot, all he could think about was not seeing his unborn child. We are happy to say that Officer Fazy was able to witness the birth of his firstborn son with his wife in January and his hand is recovering.

Phil Cline of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation said: “We applaud Officers Fazy and Kirby for the bravery they put forth on December 6th. It was because of their hard work, that two more guns were removed from the street. We are glad to know they both returned home that night.”

For their valiant efforts that morning, we salute these two officers, and we are proud to make them our April Officers of the month.


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 $9.3 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

March 2018

Chicago –
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.