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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Illinois State Police Host 20th Annual Law Enforcement Medal Of Honor Ceremony

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Press Release Date: August 27, 2012    || Archived February 11, 2013

ISP Director & Lieutenant Governor Pay Tribute to 69 Heroes and Award 2 Posthumous Honors

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Hiram Grau today was joined by Lieutenant Governor Shelia Simon to officially award the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor – the state’s highest honor for law enforcement.

Officials welcomed recipients, family members, command staff members, and other attendees and congratulated the awardees for their exemplary service to the citizens of Illinois at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. 

The Law Enforcement Medal of Honor is recognized throughout law enforcement and government agencies as the Governor’s Award, and is the most prestigious honor an officer can receive in the State of Illinois.

The honor is distinguished specifically to those law enforcement officers who have been killed or seriously injured in the line of duty, or who have displayed exceptional bravery or heroism while performing their enforcement duties. 

“Today we honor these heroes who are tireless and who have all made tremendous personal sacrifices for a cause greater than themselves,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “Police work is a dangerous profession and the heroic acts of these officers reflects what is positive about police work,” he added.

Sixty-nine sworn police officers from thirteen police agencies received the prestigious honor.  Two former members of the Chicago Police Department, Officer Michael R. Bailey and Officer Michael R. Flisk, were also awarded posthumously.

Lieutenant Governor Shelia Simon attended on behalf of Governor Pat Quinn and joined ISP Director Grau to personally congratulate each officer for their sacrifice.

“Law enforcement officers are dedicated to protecting and serving Illinois communities and deserve recognition for their bravery and commitment to service,” Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said. “I’m honored to be here today among so many of our state’s heroes and families.” 

The Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee is chaired by ISP Director Grau, Chicago PD Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Director Kevin T. McClain, Chicago PD FOP Board Member Rhonda Bullock, Niles PD Chief Dean Strzelecki and Retired ISP Sergeant James Fowler.

The Committee meets annually to review hundreds of nominations for actions of bravery or exceptional police work occurring throughout the state placing emphasis and priority upon consideration of those law enforcement officers who have been killed or seriously injured in the line of duty. 

“It’s a tough decision because each and every nominee has contributed greatly to the profession of law enforcement and the dangers of police work,” said Grau.  “All of the awardees are heroes and their acts of great courage should never be forgotten,” he added.

 

 Medal of Honor Awardees by Department:

Aurora Police Department

  • Officer Pedro Rodriguez

Chicago Police Department

  • Officer Vilma S. Argueta
  • Officer Rodrigo J. Corona
  • Officer Michael R. Bailey, posthumously
  • Officer Jesse W. Belcher
  • Officer Matthew S. Borkowski
  • Sergeant James R. Buhrke
  • Officer Efrain M. Carreno
  • Officer Sergio M. Corona
  • Officer Jerry G. Crisp
  • Officer Christopher L. Davis
  • Officer Brian D. Gaffney
  • Officer Kevin B. Gibbons
  • Officer Patrick Glinski
  • Officer Brett J. Goldstein
  • Officer Timothy J. Gould
  • Officer Mahmoud Haleem
  • Officer Bryan R. Hoffman
  • Officer Francisco D. Iza
  • Officer Steven D. Jacoby
  • Officer Rafael Magallon
  • Officer Brandon C. Murphy
  • Officer Gerald L. Neals
  • Officer Mark O’Hara
  • Officer Robert A. Ontiveros
  • Officer Enrique Pacheco
  • Officer Michael L. Paul
  • Officer Juan R. Rivera
  • Officer James D. Sivicek
  • Officer Brian A. Sloyan
  • Officer Roman A. Torres
  • Officer William Wagner
  • Officer Darren A. Wright
  • Officer Michael R. Flisk, posthumously
  • Officer Francisco J. Gonzalez
  • Sergeant Jason A. Kaczynski
  • Officer Christopher M. Saladino
  • Officer Kimberly M. Thorp
  • Officer Joseph K. Biggane
  • Officer Thomas M. Hanrahan
  • Officer David G. Hickey
  • Officer Patrick S. Kelly
  • Officer James A. McNichols
  • Officer Jeffery S. Pacocha
  • Officer Juan J. Perez 

Elkville Police Department

  • Sergeant Clay McDonnough,

Harvey Police Department

  • Officer Richard M. Jones

Illinois State Police

  • Trooper Blaine G. McBride
  • Master Sergeant William D. Sons
  • Trooper Robert D. Swift
  • Trooper Christopher R. Jones
  • Trooper Christopher D. Price
  • Trooper Nick L. Shoemaker
  • Trooper Brian Wilson
  • Trooper Starlena Z. Wilson

 Itasca Police Department

  • Officer Raymond M. Anderson

 Justice Police Department

  • Corporal Ronald J. Brenza
  • Officer Carmen R. Scardine

Kinkaid Police Department

  • Chief of Police Richard S. Adams

Lincoln Police Department

  • Chief of Police Stuart R. Erlenbush
  • Officer Michael J. Fruge

Pekin Police Department

  • Lieutenant Don Baxter
  • Patrolman Seth J. Ranney

Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office

  • Deputy William R. Baney

University of Illinois Police Department

  • Officer Matthew J. Ballinger

Waukegan Police Department

  • Patrolman Michael P. Donnenwirth

Will County Sheriff’s Office

  • Deputy Michael D. Nalley
  • Sergeant Thomas R. Budde

Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office

  • Deputy Frank A. Pobjecky

 

 The Illinois State Police Pipes and Drums led the processional, followed by the ISP Chaplain, Reverend Don Pritchard, who performed the invocation and benediction.

The officers honored at this year’s ceremony bring the total to 342 officers to receive Illinois’ highest honor since inception.  The Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Act was signed into law in 1990 with the first ceremony beginning in 1992, making it the first of its kind in Illinois. 

2012 Medal of Honor
Tpr. Christopher D. Price, Director Hiram Grau,Tpr. Starlena Z. Wilson, Tpr. Christopher R. Jones

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