This week marks Police Week, a celebration of service and sacrifice for police officers nationwide. Every year at this time citizens and officers come together as a country and community to honor the officers who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty. This year 359 law enforcement officers from around the country who lost their lives in 2020 will be honored.
The Naperville Police Department was able to pivot and find different ways to deliver services and protect their people during this challenging year. The officers continued to operate while many others stayed home. They responded to emergency calls, addressed altercations, processed crime scenes, and answered 911 calls. They were also called upon to manage large-scale demonstrations, civil unrest, and criminal acts.
“Our officers worked an inordinate number of hours to protect this city – and citizens’ First Amendment rights – often while being sworn at, battered, taunted, and criticized,” said Police Chief Robert Marshall. “As a nation, we heard so many negative stories about police in 2020. Part of my job as police chief is to make sure that our community knows how hard we work to make sure that incidents like those don’t happen in Naperville.
Awards and Recognition
During this program, Chief Marshall and other department heads within the Naperville Police Department, recognize several police officers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
“I get the privilege of highlighting the many stories of professionalism and outstanding service our officers provide on a regular basis,” said Marshall. “I hope the stories and the awards we showcase today will make you proud and give you a glimpse into your Naperville Police Department.
List of Honorees:
- Department Award #1: $18,000 Recovery: Police Service Officer Paul Radzicki and Officer Michaela Rausch
- Department Award #2: Animal Cruelty Case: Detectives Theresa Stock and Christopher Vallis, Animal Control Officers Erin Catalano and Shannon Hedman, and Crime Scene Technician Kristyn Urgo
- Department Award #3: Carjacking Suspects: Officer Kevin Merrihew, Officer Eddie Corneliusen, Sgt. Rich Arsenault and three Special Operations Group (SOG) detectives
- Department Award #4: 3 Firearms: Officers Meagan Sander, Brett Kohler, Ken Razionale, Alexis Hammer, and Cale Sparks
- Department Award #5: Meritorious Service Award: Officer Tim Thorpe
- Department Award #6: Meritorious Unit Award– Tactical Dispatchers: Emergency Communications Manager Stacey Edwards and tactical dispatchers Tracy Eisemon, Allegra Glienke, Theresa Keith, and Jennifer Raitt
- Department Award #7: Meritorious Unit Award: Special Operations Group
- Department Award #8: Meritorious Unit Award: Strategic Response Unit
Board of Fire and Police Commissioners Awards
The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners is responsible for the testing, hiring, and promotion of police officers in the City of Naperville. Each year, they present the Commissioners’ Award to an outstanding member or members of the department who consistently goes “above and beyond,” gives back through mentoring, volunteering, and serving as a role model to others.
This year Commissioners Kirsten Young, Kim Widup, Mark Wright, Ron Davidson, and board chair David Blaydes were pleased to present the Commissioners’ Award to two officers:
- Officer Harold Bressler
- Financial Crimes Sgt. Elena Deuchler
Citizens Appreciate Public Safety (CAPS) Awards
Citizens Appreciate Public Safety (CAPS) is a Naperville community group that recognizes Police and Fire Department personnel for their contributions to the City. Each year, Naperville residents are asked to nominate public safety employees who have displayed an interest in Naperville’s residents in a manner above and beyond the call of duty.
- Officer Mike Buckley
- Officer Mark English
- An Undercover Officer
- Detective Theresa Stock
- Officer Mark Schumacher
- Officer Tim Thorpe
- Patrol Division: Officers Harold Bressler, Mike Buckley, Billy Carlson, Dan Lukensmeyer, and Luke Swanson; Sergeants Mike Rimdzius and Scott Thorsen; Social Service Clinician Jamie Horner
- Investigations Division: Detectives John Reed, Erin Gibler, Paul Elliott, Ken Czubak, Bill Stahulak, Mike Umbenhower, and Mike Courterier; Sergeant Rich Arsenault and Commander Tim Black
- George Pradel Award for Public Service: The entire Naperville Police Department
Honoring Fallen Officer During Police Week
Police Week honors the service of officers to the community while also remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice. This year’s honors include officer Juan Rios, who died on January 1 after a brave battle with cancer. Officer Rios was a 27-year veteran of the Naperville Police Department, who was known by many in the community because of his 11 years as a school resource officer. He influenced countless people through his unending compassion, strong work ethic, respect for all, and service in many facets of law enforcement.