Families of Fallen Officers Presented With Posthumous Medal of Honor
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Hiram Grau and the Members of the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee were at the Executive Mansion in Springfield today to award the Medal of Honor to sixteen law enforcement officers representing seven police agencies throughout Illinois.
ISP Director Grau and the committee members awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to the families of two officers who were killed in the line of duty - Illinois State Police Trooper James M. Sauter and Pontiac Officer Casey J. Kohlmeier.
The officers honored at this year’s ceremony make a total to 358 officers to receive Illinois’ highest honor since the inception of this prestigious award. The Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Act was signed into law in 1990 with the first ceremony being held in 1992, making this honor the first of its kind in Illinois.
The Law Enforcement Medal of Honor has long been considered the “Governor’s Award.”
This honor is presented only 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.
“It is a great privilege to pay tribute to our heroes here today,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “The brave recipients we are here to honor remind all of us of the serious nature of law enforcement and the risks that our brave officers face each day while protecting the people of Illinois.” he added.
Every year, Medal of Honor nominees are presented to the Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee for consideration. Committee members include the ISP Director as well as representatives from other Illinois law enforcement agencies.
Awardees by Department
Boone County Sheriff’s Department
Deputy David A. Mordt
Deputy Austin M. Schmitt
Calumet City Police Department
Detective James R. Burnett
Chicago Police Department
Sergeant James D. Cascone
Officer Nelson Lopez
Officer Chris Skarupinski
Officer Lawrence R. Williams
Officer Ronald D. Coleman
Officer Jeff Rumbaugh
Officer Paul Sandoval
Illinois Conservation Police
Officer Steven T. Francisko
Illinois State Police
Trooper James M. Sauter (Posthumously)
Trooper Brad R. Williams
Park Ridge Police Department
Officer Kristen Abbinante
Officer Carlos Panizo
Pontiac Police Department
Officer Casey J. Kohlmeier (Posthumously)
Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau welcomed this year’s recipients, family members, command staff and other attendees and congratulated the awardees for their exemplary service to the citizens of Illinois.
The Illinois State Police trumpet unit played the National Anthem, followed by the ISP Chaplain Reverend Delbert Penrod, who performed the invocation and benediction. WICS Newschannel 20 Liz Foster graciously narrated the awards presentation.
Additional information about the event and a list Law Enforcement Medal of Honor recipients are attached and can be viewed on the ISP website at: www.isp.state.il.us