Springfield, IL—(ENEWSPF)— According to the 2006 report on crime issued by the Illinois State Police, eight Illinois law enforcement officers lost their lives last year in the performance of duty while upholding the laws of the State of Illinois. A brief narrative on the circumstances surrounding their death is presented below.
January 4, 2006 – COOK COUNTY SHERIFF’S POLICE DEPARTMENT
Patrol Officer James Knapp, 50, was killed in a automobile accident while enroute to the sheriff’s station when his squad car rear-ended a semi-tractor during foggy weather and slippery road conditions. Officer Knapp had served with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department for 16 years and is survived by his wife and two sons.
February 12, 2006 – CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT
Police Officer Eric Solorio, 26, succumbed to injuries sustained in an automobile accident three weeks earlier. On January 17, 2006, Officer Solorio was involved in a pursuit when the squad car he was riding in was cut off by another driver and struck a tree and building. Officer Solorio had served with the Chicago Police Department for 3.5 years. He is survived by his mother, brother, and two sisters.
February 12, 2006 – HARDIN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Deputy Sheriff Elizabeth Edwards, 26, was killed in an automobile accident while enroute to a call. Deputy Edwards was responding to a report of an automobile accident when icy conditions caused her patrol car to leave the roadway and strike a tree. Deputy Edwards had served the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office for one year. She is survived by her parents and sisters.
APRIL 24, 2006 – CAHOKIA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Police Officer Jeremy Chambers, 26, was killed when his patrol car was struck by a vehicle operated by an intoxicated driver. Officer Chambers was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Officer Chambers had served with the Cahokia Police Department for 2.5 years and also served as a volunteer firefighter. He is survived by his parents, sister, and brother.
MAY 12, 2006 – ILLINOIS STATE POLICE
Sergeant Rodney Todd Miller, 40, was killed in an automobile accident when his car was struck by another. Sergeant Miller was a 16-year veteran of the Illinois State Police. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
JUNE 11, 2006 – CALHOUN COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY
Chief Deputy Brian Gibbons, 33, succumbed to injuries sustained two days earlier as a result of an automobile accident. Chief Deputy Gibbons was on patrol when his vehicle was struck head-on by an intoxicated driver. Chief Deputy Gibbons had served with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office for four years. He is survived by his daughter and son. x SEPTEMBER 27, 2006 – METRA POLICE DEPARTMENT Police Officer Thomas A. Cook, 43, was shot and killed while sitting in his patrol car while conducting surveillance on a Metra station, which had seen a recent surge in armed robberies. He had served with the Metra Transit Police Department for three years, had previously served with the Riverdale Police Department for nine years, and was also a US Army Veteran. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.
OCTOBER 23, 2006 – MAYWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT
Police Officer Thomas T. Wood, 37, succumbed to gunshot injuries sustained while sitting in his squad car. Officer Wood had served with the Maywood Police Department for nine years. He had previously served as a reserve officer with the Schiller Park Police Department for three years while also serving as a part-time officer with the Stone Park Police Department for two years. He is survived by his wife, two children, and three stepchildren.