May 1, 2009

Challenges and Awards

We’ve all been guilty at some time or another of complaining about the police. I know I have and I can’t say I’ll never gripe again – they’re human just like me, just like you. There’s only so much that a few people can do - or is there? Parts of Rogers Park are frustrating, or to be politically correct, challenging. Most of us didn’t create the environment that is so challenging but there are some who do make a difference daily.

This evening was the annual Police and Citizen Awards Ceremony for the 24th District held at the Devon Bank. It’s an annual celebration of officers, their families, and citizens who have worked to make our neighborhoods safer.

Two Officers Receiving Awards

We heard true stories of our 24th District Police Officers who were honored with awards tonight. There was the case of a woman who was sexually assaulted, traumatized and robbed in her home. The officers worked with her on a composite description of the assailant and from a latent fingerprint, identified and arrested him in a park with some of her belongings.

Another officer was in pursuit of a robber and though the officer was injured in the chase, he continued after the robber who led a merry run across rooftops to the Howard El. The robber eventually jumped 15 feet from Howard el platform to the tracks then to the ground. No pun intended, but the dude landed unceremoniously on Officer Pillow! There were five officers involved in this episode.

There were the four detectives who caught a prison escapee from Indiana serving a sentence for murder. Let’s not forget the officers who arrested the man who threatened to bomb a synagogue from witness descriptions.

An award was given to the two officers who assisted a female senior citizen on Howard Street who had been robbed on the street. The victim was able to give the officers a description that allowed them to arrest the thug who attacked her.

Two officers were honored for making the highest number of arrests in the district.

Citizens were also honored for their part in making Rogers Park more livable. Left to right: Sonny Hersh, Chairman of the DAC (District Advisory Council) Commander Sobczyk presenter, Richard Concaildi,DAC, Bernard Garbo, Beat 2424 Hands Across Howard, and Irv Loundy, President of Devon Bank.

Award Ceremony 4.30.09 Citizen Awards Commander Sobczyk and Bernard Garbo

Ed Smith, Court Advocate, was honored for attending over 2,000 court cases. Another young man, Gibran Pena, is on the youth peer jury and is attending law enforcement programs at Daley City College received an award.

We thank the officers and citizens and celebrate these victories. We might consider a few Beat 2422 or 2424 walks and be a part of challenging the challenge.

The challenge will be held tomorrow night at 7:00 PM with Beat 2422 North of Howard neighborhood walk at Willye White Center. Also, Beat 2424 is hanging out at Howard and Hoyne from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Alderman Ann Rainey will be hanging out at Howard and Hoyne too!

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