Oak Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Twenty-seven area police officers and five citizens were recognized last week for excellence at the annual installation and awards dinner of the South Suburban Association Chiefs of Police (S.S.A.C.O.P.). Awardees were honored on Thursday, October 23rd at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest . Fourteen officers each received the association’s highest award, the Peace Officer Award of Valor for individual acts of heroism over the past year.
Midlothian Officer Kerry Sullivan and Blue Island Officer Erick Stahmer were honored while serving as members of the South Suburban Emergency Response Team (S.S.E.R.T.) for their efforts in June in neutralizing an armed murder suspect in Dolton . Riverdale Sergeants Anthony Fionda and Dave Demick and Riverdale Officers John Golden, Jack Hille, Israel Rodriquez, and Artie Johnson were cited for their courageous actions in rescuing residents from an apartment building fire in March. Burbank Officers Jesse Cullotta, James Brodnick, and Michael Hehl were recognized for their heroic actions in a February officer involved shooting incident. South Holland Police Officers Timothy Lareau, Ricky Anthony, and Paul Morache were honored for their courageous actions in April in rescuing a resident from a burning house.
The association also presented eight officers with meritorious service awards. Crete Sergeant John Enochs and Detective Robert Hill along with South Chicago Heights Sergeant Jesse Kozinski and Detective Daniel Vaci were recognized for their cooperative efforts in July in solving a series of armed robberies in the south suburbs. Posen Sergeant Robert Quirk and Detective Elvin Jones as well as South Holland Detectives Christopher Lareau and Robert Williams were honored for their November 2007 apprehension and arrest of an attempt murder suspect in Chicago while they were serving as members of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force.
One officer received the association’s life saving award. Midlothian Officer Robert Fitzgerald was cited for saving the life of a Bremen High School student in January.
In addition to these police officers, ten other persons, both police officers and private citizens, received recognition at the dinner for their actions or service to their communities.
The South Suburban Association Chiefs of Police annually recognizes police officers for valor or meritorious service as well as other persons for outstanding efforts in support of public safety. The South Suburban Association of Chiefs of Police, first formed in 1969, is comprised of police chiefs and police command officers from federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies from throughout the south and southwestern suburbs of Chicago . SSACOP is one of fifteen (15) regional police chief associations in Illinois that are affiliated with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
Park Forest Police Chief Thomas Fleming was installed at the installation and awards dinner as the president of SSACOP for 2008-2009.