On April 19, 2017, Sergeant Cathlene Hillman monitored a call of “shots fired” in the 6100 block of Hamlin Avenue. While en route, the call was updated to a person shot. As Sgt. Hillman turned onto Hamlin, the first arriving officer confirmed a person was shot in the leg. On scene, Hillman observed a victim seated on the sidewalk leaning up against a building and a male kneeling next to him holding what appeared to be a sweatshirt on the victim’s left thigh. As she got closer, she observed that the victim was pale and sweating with his head nodding as though he was trying to stay awake. She then noticed the volume of blood on the sidewalk. Sgt. Hillman removed her personal tourniquet from her vest and applied it to victim’s upper thigh above the wound. While applying the tourniquet, she instructed the friend to continue talking to the victim, telling him the tourniquet would stop the bleeding. Hillman then instructed the other officer on scene to erect the crime scene tape and get a time check from dispatch for the tourniquet being applied. CFD arrived moments later and took the victim to Christ hospital where he underwent surgery for a damaged artery. Sgt. Hillman cleaned up from all the blood and returned to duty. She happily learned the next day that the shooting victim had survived. She is grateful to the department for providing the Law Enforcement Medical and Rescue Training (LEMART) that she was able to apply during a situation which saved an individual’s life. Sgt. Cathlene Hillman has been a police officer for 25 years. She began her career in the 010 district and after five years, made the tactical team. During this time, the focus was on narcotic and gang enforcement within the 010th district. She left a few years later to go to the Special Operations Section which was basically a citywide tactical team. After that she went to the narcotics section for a couple years and acted as a buy officer focusing on areas that had recent shootings. She then went back to a tactical team in the 010 district. Hillman was recently promoted to the rank of sergeant and is currently assigned to the 008 district on the third watch as a sector sergeant.
APRIL 2017 OFFICER OF THE MONTH: Sgt. Bryan Topczewski On August 8, 2016 Sgt. Bryan Topczewski responded to a call reporting that a child had been shot. He found 10-year-old Tavon Tanner lying face down inside the house, blood coming from his nose and mouth. Topczewski radioed in and asked if an ambulance was on the way, but there seemed to be some confusion with another shots fired call a few blocks away. Topczewski went and grabbed his pack and started rendering aid. Topczewski applied pressure to the wound, covering it with a compression bandage. Paramedics arrived within a few minutes, scooped up the boy and rushed him to Mount Sinai Hospital. After investigating the incident, Topczewski went to Mount Sinai to check on Tavon who underwent nearly four hours of surgery at Mount Sinai. The bullet damaged his pancreas, intestines, kidney and spleen as it entered his lower back and lodged in his chest, his mother said. Doctors removed the spleen and repaired the other organs but did not remove the bullet. Recovery was slow for Tavon. According to Topczewski, “It’s a little kid shot. If you’re a parent, you protect your kids. Whether it’s yours or someone else’s. This is what we do. It’s terrible to see a little young kid get shot in crossfire over, over what? It’s not a way to grow up.” Sgt. Bryan Topczewski began his career in the 018th District working beat 1823 in Cabrini Green. He completed two tours on the Area Three Mission team working responding to troubled locations as directed by district commanders. He was selected to be on the district gang team dealing with the violence associated with the narcotics trade. Based on his interaction with the gangs and their narcotics sales over the course of several years he was selected to be detailed to the Organized Crime Division to provide intelligence as they conducted the first mission ever run in a High rise Public Housing Unit. Operation “Candyman” identified 19 targets over a 90 day period and was a success in eliminating one of the more violent crews operating in the Cabrini Green Housing Project. Next Sgt. Topczewski was detailed to the Intelligence unit, C.A.G.E team which tracked firearms recovered used in the commission of crimes in the city. The unit worked with personnel from The Illinois state Police, the BATF and the DEA. He left the unit and went to work in the 15th District third watch on the city’s west side. He left the Westside and began working in the 16thDistrict where he was assigned to third watch. He was detailed to the Area Five R.B.T. Detective Division assisting the detectives in identifying offenders and clearing on going crime patterns. He left the 16th District and went to the Mobile Strike Force which operated city wide in areas with high violence and gang conflicts. In the Mobile Strike Force he was taught the LEMART class on basic first aid which he used to help save the […]
On the morning of January 22, 2017, Officer David Nicholl was off-duty when he heard several loud reports outside his home. Without hesitation, the officer grabbed his gun and star and headed toward the location of the gunfire. As he exited his residence, he saw a black Jeep speeding away from a nearby Shell gas station at 1524 W. Huron. On scene, the officer came upon two male victims who had been shot — one had an injury that was non-life-threatening and the other was bleeding profusely from a chest wound. Nicholl, who had received Law Enforcement Medical and Rescue Training (LEMART), quickly assessed the situation and retrieved an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) from his vehicle which was parked nearby. The officer then applied his QuikClot blood clotting agent to the chest wound in an effort to stymie the bleeding. The agent began to work almost immediately while the officer applied pressure to the wound and maintained communication with the victim. Shortly thereafter, CPD and CFD units arrived, took command of the scene and transported the victims to Stroger Hospital for treatment. Thanks to the life saving actions of Officer Nicholl, both victims made a full recovery. P.O. David Nicholl joined the Chicago Police Department on October 27, 2014. He spent much of his probationary time with the downtown Bike Unit handling numerous anti-police protests. Upon completion of his probationary period, he was permanently assigned to the 3rd Watch in the 006th District. Nicholl is medically retired from the US Marine Corps following a rollover accident of his Humvee in Iraq which severely injured his right arm. He endured many years of rehab before being able to take and pass the physical fitness tests necessary to become a Chicago police officer.
On August 16, 2016, P.O. Brandon McDonald and his partner, P.O. Kevin Hernandez responded to a call of a vehicle hijacking that had occurred at 9600 S. Wallace. The officers spotted the vehicle and pursued the offender into the 005th District. During the pursuit, the offender began firing backward toward the blue and white striking the police vehicle several times. P.O. McDonald was also struck, leading the officers to end their pursuit near 10200 S. Eberhart. P.O. Brett Psik and P.O. Carlos Guevara continued the pursuit and at the intersection of 100th and Dauphin Avenue, had their police vehicle fired upon, leaving the officers no choice but to return fire. Shortly thereafter, the offender curbed his vehicle, tossed his weapon and got down on the ground allowing Psik and Guevara to take him into custody. Officer McDonald was transported to Christ Hospital with a graze wound to the left jaw and has made a full recovery. Officer Guevara was transported by CFD ambulance to Little Company of Mary Hospital and is still waiting to return to full duty. P.O. Brandon McDonald joined the Chicago Police Department in February of 2014 and completed his training cycles in the 006th District, 004th District and 003rd District, where he received his first Department Commendation. He has worked Operation Impact in the 003rd District and is currently assigned to the 022nd District. P.O. Kevin Hernandez joined the Chicago Police Department in 2014 and completed his field training in the 006th District, 010th District and 002nd District. He is currently assigned to the 022nd District. P.O. Brett Psik is new to the Chicago Police Department. He has worked in the 005th District and is currently assigned to the 003rd District. P.O. Carlos Guevara is an 11.5 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. During that time, he worked the Mission Team and Tact Team in the 005th District before moving to the Mobile Strike Force. After that unit was disbanded, he went back to 005 where he is currently assigned to the 1st Watch.
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s January 2017 Officers of the Month, David Benitez, Alfonso Herrera, Juan R. Rivera and Eugenio “Tito” Tirado, were honored on January 10th for their heroics. Click here for the ABC 7 news story.
On July 21, 2016, at approximately 2010 hours, Bike officer Juan Rivera was flagged down by a concerned citizen who stated that there was a male in the park at 18th Street and Calumet Avenue acting strangely and drinking an unknown alcoholic beverage. The individual was also ogling unsupervised, underage girls. Officer Rivera alerted bike officers David Benitez and Alfonso Herrera who relocated to the park and offered assistance. The officers encountered the offender, who was on his cell phone and took strategic and defensive positions with their bicycles. Benitez engaged the offender and attempted to conduct a field interview, but the individual became angry and combative. He refused to get off his phone. As Officer Benitez again ordered the offender to place his phone down, the individual lowered his arm and quickly produced a handgun, pointing it at each officer. Without warning, the offender fired in the direction of Officer Benitez, striking him in the left thigh. Each officer returned fire and neutralized the threat. Once the scene was secured, Officer Rivera ran back to Officer Benitez, who had fallen down on one knee. Benitez instructed Rivera to give him his belt to use as a makeshift tourniquet. Without hesitation, Rivera removed his duty belt and his pants belt, which he and Benitez used to wrap around the injured thigh to slow the bleeding. Benitez further instructed Rivera to apply pressure on the wound until assisting units arrived and an actual tourniquet replaced the belt. Unwilling to wait for an ambulance to arrive, officers on-scene placed Benitez into a CPD vehicle and transported him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Officer Tirado joined Benitez in the vehicle and advised the dispatcher of a detailed route to the hospital. Tirado also made sure that Benitez remained awake and alert while continuing to apply pressure to the wound. Officer Benitez was ultimately treated and released and has made a full recovery. P.O. David Benitez has been a Chicago police officer for 17 years. During that time he has worked in the 002nd District, Public Housing South (Unit 715) and the 001st District. After working patrol in 001 for some time, he transferred to the 001st District Bike Team. He plans to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October of 2017. P.O. Alfonso Herrera has been a Chicago police officer for more than 17 years (02 AUG 1999). He is currently assigned to the 001st District and has been detailed to several units — Saturation/Mission Team Unit (formerly in Area 4). In September of 2001, he was sent under military orders to serve during Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon returning from his overseas duty, Herrera was assigned to the City Hall Detail. He returned to the 001st District Bike/Foot Team following the retirement of Mayor Richard Daley. He was also detailed to work executive security for the former City Treasurer, Stephanie Neely. Herrera has been happily married for more than 25 years and has two daughters. P.O. Juan Rivera followed in his father’s footsteps and became […]
On October 12, 2016, Chicago police officers David Watson and Paul Moreno responded to a call of “shots fired/person shot” on the 1100 block of North Lawler Avenue. On scene, the officers were directed to an apartment building. As they reached the second floor, large pools of blood were visible on the landing and lead into a nearby apartment. Watson and Moreno entered the residence and found a young male victim who had been shot in the right leg. left leg, groin and buttocks. The gun shot wound to the right leg had severed the femoral artery and immediate action was necessary to save the victim’s life. Without hesitation, the officers sprung into action. Watson, who had obtained combat first aid training in the U.S. Marine Corps, took a belt from a resident and quickly tied it around the victim’s wounded right leg. Another resident produced a stick that the officer used to tighten the tourniquet. Officer Moreno, who had been controlling the large crowd that had gathered in the apartment, came to Officer Watson’s aid and maintained tension on the tourniquet until medics arrived. CFD Paramedics, ER Doctors and Trauma Surgeons at Mt. Sinai Hospital praised the response of the two officers and credited their quick thinking and actions in saving the victim’s life. The victim had lost approximately 4 liters of blood before the tourniquet was applied and probably would not have survived the ambulance ride to Mt. Sinai. He has since been released from the hospital and is recovering. P.O. David Watson, a nine year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, joined the Chicago Police Department in 2006 and has served the community of the 015th District (Austin) his entire police career. He is happily married and is the father of three amazing boys. P.O. Paul Moreno followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Chicago Police Department in 2013. He has been assigned to Unit 213 Area North Deputy Chief and the 015th District. Officer Moreno is also happily married.
On September 14, 2016, Retired Deputy Chief Fred Coffey went to Eckersoll Park for his daily workout. As he arrived, a 21-year old convicted felon and Black P Stone gang member approached Deputy Chief Coffey and announced a robbery. When Coffey didn’t comply quickly enough, the offender shot him in the left shoulder. Deputy Chief Coffey was able to get away from the offender and drew his snub nose revolver. Coffey returned fire, striking the offender in the leg. The offender then fled the scene. Deputy Chief Coffey was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center and treated for his gunshot wound. The offender was arrested at 7824 S. Oglesby and a firearm was recovered. He was charged with attempt murder, attempt robbery, aggravated battery with a firearm, UUW by a felon and violation of parole. Thanks to Deputy Chief Coffey’s quick actions, a robbery was foiled and a dangerous felon was taken off the street.
On March 22, 2015, Sgt. Geoff Pienta, P.O. Mike Modzelewski and P.O. John Conneely responded to a “burglary in progress” call at 2229 S. Stewart. Upon arrival, the officers were met by a witness who relayed that he heard someone enter the residence as well as a woman’s scream shortly thereafter. The officers gained entry to the building and began conducting a room by room search. Once they reached the top floor they could see a male attempting to secret himself behind a bedroom door and gave him verbal commands to show himself. When the offender refused to comply, the officers entered the room and a brief struggle ensued. Reasonable force was used to enact an arrest and the offender was taken into custody. A knife was discovered in his waistband. Once the individual was in handcuffs, a female victim exited the bathroom wearing only a towel and stated that she had been sexually assaulted by the offender. Further investigation determined that as the female entered the foyer of the residence, she was attacked from behind and forced at knife-point into an upstairs bedroom where she was bound, gagged and raped. The offender then dragged her into the shower in an attempt to cleanse her of any evidence. Had the officers not arrived when they did, the offender would have surely killed his victim to hide the crime. Sgt. Geoff Pienta has been with the Chicago Police Department for twenty years. He began his career in the 009th District in 1996 and worked for a short time with his father who retired in 1997. He was promoted to sergeant in 2003 and was assigned to the 002nd District. Pienta has also worked as a tactical and gang sergeant and moved to the Gang Enforcement Division in July of 2014, where he is currently assigned. P.O. Michael Modzelewski has worked in the 009th District for more than ten years and has been assigned to numerous incident teams as well as the 963 Tactical Team. He is currently assigned to the Area Central Robbery/Burglary Mission Team. P.O. John Conneely has been a Chicago police officer for nearly 18 years and has been recently promoted to the rank of Sergeant. His prior assignments include 012 Tactical Team, Area 4 Mission Team, Vice Unit, Gang Intelligence, the FBI Joint Task Force on Gangs and the Area Central Robbery/Burglary Team. He is currently assigned to the 008th District Tactical Team.
On July 3, 2016 at 9:30 AM, Officer Sean Hayes, Star 7012, was off-duty traveling on Damen Avenue in the Roscoe Village neighborhood. At that time, P.O. Hayes and his son observed a man on a bicycle strike a car door that had suddenly opened in his lane. Upon striking the vehicle, the bicyclist’s neck was lacerated by the corner of the car door. P.O. Hayes then saw the man holding his hand to his neck with a look of panic on his face. The officer sprung into action and instructed the man to sit down and relax as he retrieved a pressure bandage (OLAES Modular Bandage). Hayes began to render first aid and calmed the victim as they waited for paramedics to arrive. The paramedics arrived on scene and continued to tend to the victim. At this time, it was discovered that the injuries were substantially more significant than originally thought and CFD found the victim to have an exposed trachea and damage to the carotid artery. He was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital where he was treated and released two days later. P.O. Hayes was able to apply the life saving skills he learned from the Law Enforcement Medical and Rescue Training (LEMART) course and used first aid materials kept in his Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK). P.O. Sean Hayes has almost 16-years with the Chicago Police Department. He has worked in the 016th District, 025th District, A/5 Gangs, Gang Intelligence and is currently assigned to the Education and Training Academy as a Firearms Instructor, Patrol Carbine Instructor and Carbine Armorer. P.O. Hayes grew up in South Florida and is the father of two boys, 12 and 6 years of age.
On March 21, 2016, at approximately 2:20 AM, P.O. Stephen Boyd returned home from studying for the CPD Detective’s exam at the North Avenue/Wells 24-hour Starbucks. As he pulled in front of his residence, removed the key from the ignition and reached for his study guide, he noticed a young male wearing a black hoodie walking down the sidewalk to his right. Feeling that something was wrong, Boyd attempted to start his car and drive away, but the individual ran up to his driver’s side window and pointed a semi-automatic pistol with extended magazine at the officer. The offender ordered him to open his passenger door, leaned into the vehicle and pressed the weapon against the officer’s right temple, forcing his head down into the driver’s side window. He demanded the officer’s wallet and cell phone and he complied. The offender then ordered Boyd to stay in the car as he ran up the front steps of the officer’s home. At this time, Boyd heard a knock at the car window and saw a second armed offender, reminding him of his range instructor’s training, “When there is one offender, there is two!” As Boyd sat with offender #2 outside his car window, he plotted his next move. In an attempt to distract the robber, Boyd, who is not married, stated that his wife and kids were inside the home and probably wondering what was transpiring. Offender #2 looked around and then forced the officer to his knees at the front of his vehicle. He then began to stomp on the officer and Boyd rolled over on his side to protect the fact that he was armed. He returned to his knees and put his hands on the hood of his car. Without warning, offender #1 returned to the scene and screamed, “shoot that motherf*cker, shoot him right now!” Officer Boyd had no choice but to spring to his feet and move out of the line of fire. He heard a shot and reached for his service weapon while screaming, “POLICE.” A gunfight ensued as the offenders fled and Officer Boyd saw one go down – offender #2 had been hit. They disappeared into a nearby yard. At this time, Boyd realized he had been shot in the right leg. He called out, “policeman shot, I need help,” numerous times, but nobody came to his aid. He felt dizzy and weak, but forced himself to climb the stairs to his home. He banged on the door until his brother, Dennis, answered and dragged him into the house. Dennis applied a tourniquet to the wounded leg while calling 911. Officer Boyd was rushed to Christ Hospital where he was told that the bullet had perforated his femoral artery. Miraculously, a clot had formed in his leg, probably from the tourniquet, that prevented him from bleeding out. Offender #1 fled to Michigan and was captured a month later by the US Marshals. Offender #2 went straight to Little Company of Mary Hospital for his gun shot […]
On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, Officer Jennifer Jacobucci was returning to her assignment at O’Hare Airport after completing station assignment at Headquarters. While traveling westbound on I-90 she observed thick black smoke just off the expressway. As she approached, she monitored the zone radio where she learned there was a house fire on the 2700 block of Campbell and immediately responded. Officer Jacobucci notified the zone that she was on scene and soon learned that the fire was spreading to the building next door. Without hesitation, Officer Jacobucci entered the three flat, quickly notifying residents to evacuate the building. After escorting a female with two dogs from the second floor and two females, a male and a dog from the first floor, she continued to clear the building room by room to ensure everyone made it out safely. She was later taken to a nearby hospital where she was treated and released for smoke inhalation. Officer Jennifer Jacobucci is a 10-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. She began her police career in the 015th District, later becoming a member of the Robbery/Burglary Mission Team, Tactical Team, Bike Patrol, the 004th District Bike Patrol and is currently assigned to Unit 050 Airport Law Enforcement North. Jennifer earned her MAP at Adler in Police Psychology in 2012 and has just completed her MEd at DePaul University focusing on Secondary Education. Jennifer is constantly looking for ways to improve the lives and relationships within the communities she serves. Media Links: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chicago-police-officer-saves-people-pets-from-house-fire_us_57b7565be4b00d9c3a179723
On April 25, 2016, Officers Eddie Okon and Gerardo Rivera were working Beat 1013 in full uniform and in a marked CPD vehicle when they observed an individual standing with other known gang members near 24th and Trumbull. The officers observed the individual securing and holding a bulge in his waistband and they felt his actions were consistent with someone possessing a weapon. Okon and Rivera approached the group and attempted to conduct an investigatory stop at which time the offender in question fled on foot. As the offender fled, he removed a handgun from his waistband and fired a shot, striking Officer Okon in the right shoulder. The offender continued to flee and was eventually taken into custody after Officer Rivera chased him down and deployed his Taser. Officer Okon was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital where he was treated and released for a gun shot wound to the upper right shoulder. The offender’s weapon was recovered and found to be loaded with eight .45 caliber rounds. P.O. Eddie Okon served as a Police Cadet before joining the Chicago Police Department. He has worked his entire career in the 010th District and is currently assigned to the 3rd Watch. For most of his tenure, he has had the privilege to work with P.O. Gerardo Rivera. Officer Okon is extremely grateful to his girlfriend, Shana, his family, friends and co-workers for their unbelievable support and assistance throughout this chain of events. P.O. Gerardo Rivera is currently assigned to the 010th District on 3rd Watch. He has worked his entire 12-year police career in 010 and joined his regular partner, Eddie Okon, on Beat 1013 about three years ago. He is proud to have Eddie as a partner and wishes him a speedy recovery.
On Friday, April 13, 2015, Chicago police officers Peter Gurskis and Hector Fuentes, regular partners for 15 years, were on patrol northbound in the 5700 block of Kedzie Avenue when they observed a Chevy Aveo swerve into oncoming traffic. A large poultry truck was traveling in the opposite direction and struck the Chevy head on, causing the vehicle to burst into flames. Fuentes and Gurskis immediately notified dispatch to send CFD to their location and the officers rushed to the burning vehicle to assist the driver, who was pinned inside. The car door was jammed shut from the collision, so the officers began to push down on the window frame in an effort to extricate the driver. Officer Gurskis was able to grab the victim by his shoulders as Officer Fuentes freed the man’s legs which were pinned beneath the dash. With the fire and smoke growing more intense, the officers were finally able to free the driver from the wreckage and dragged him to safety. At this time, the driver notified the officers that his friend was a passenger in the burning car. Because thick smoke had filled the interior of the Chevy, the officers were unable to see this second occupant. Fuentes and Gurskis rushed back into the flames, removed the unconscious passenger and pulled him to a safe location. Both victims were transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital where they were treated for severe injuries. Had these heroic officers not take action and waited for CFD to arrive, the occupants of the vehicle most certainly would have perished. P.O. Peter Gurskis began his career with the Chicago Police Department on October 26, 1998. He was first assigned to the 007th District where he met P.O. Hector Fuentes. Upon completion of their probationary period, the two officers became regular partners. They soon transferred to the 008th District, their current unit of assignment. Because they have worked together so long and know each others reactions to different, stressful situations, Gurskis was very grateful to have his partner on scene the night of the incident. P.O. Hector Fuentes has been a Chicago Police Officer for more than 15 years. He is currently assigned to the 008th District and refers to Peter Gurskis as not only a partner, but a great friend. Fuentes never thought of becoming a police officer, but decided to take the entrance exam when he became bored with his job as a pharmacy tech. Knowing the dangers of police work at the time, he kept his decision quiet from his family.
Seven police officers were honored Wednesday by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, for saving the lives of two fellow cops by using automated external defibrillators and CPR. The officers honored were P.O. Danielle Mulligan, P.O. Jordan Parks, P.O. Phillip Renault — Sgt. Charmane Kielbasa, P.O. Jose Rocha, P.O. Beata Staszewski, P.O. Norma Colon. See link below for CBS news story. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/04/13/chicago-police-officers-honored/