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/
AED Incident 1: On February 13, 2016, at approximately 6:30 PM, P.O. Danielle Mulligan and P.O. Jordan Parks were doing paperwork at the front desk of the 011th District when multiple officers alerted them that someone in lockup was in need of medical attention. Officers Mulligan and Parks grabbed the station’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and immediately responded to the lockup area where they found an officer not breathing and without a pulse. The AED was placed on the unresponsive officer as P.O. Mulligan, P.O. Parks and P.O. Phillip Renault performed CPR. Following one “shock” from the AED and several minutes of CPR, the officer’s heartbeat returned and he began to breathe on his own. 011th District beat cars secured and blocked the route for the ambulance to expedite transport to the hospital where the 17-year police veteran was stabilized. P.O. Danielle Mulligan began her police career on November 25, 2013 and is very grateful to have had an exceptional instructor in Phil Visor. She completed her training cycles in the 025th, 024th and 015th Districts and was assigned to “Operation Impact” for more than a year in 011 with her partner on foot patrol, P.O. Greenwald. She is currently assigned to the 011th District. P.O. Mulligan studied at DePaul University and is proud to be a multi-generational police officer. P.O. Phillip Renault graduated from the Chicago Police Academy on March 26, 2013 and completed his FTO cycles in the 024th District before moving to “Operation Impact” in the 011th District. From there, he moved to 1st watch in the 011th District where he worked until being assigned to the 011th District 1161 Tactical Team. P.O. Jordan Parks joined the Chicago Police Department on August 25, 2014 and has worked in the 011th District for most of his short career. He was assigned to “Operation Impact” in 011 and is currently assigned there. Officer Parks has wanted to be a Chicago police officer since he was a child and is very grateful for the opportunity to serve the 011th District community and the City of Chicago. He looks forward to the rest of his CPD career and can’t wait for what comes next. AED Incident 2: On the evening of March 5, 2016, an officer reporting for 1st watch duty at Public Safety Headquarters collapsed suddenly in the west lobby. P.O. Beata Staszewski had just walked into the east lobby for her tour of duty when she heard other officers asking if anyone knew CPR. Officers Jose Rocha and Norma Colon as well as Sgt. Charmane Kielbasa were attending to the officer who was unconscious. P.O. Staszewski checked for vitals, did not feel a pulse or breath, and started to perform chest compressions. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was brought to the scene and P.O. Staszewski removed the officer’s work shirt and undershirt. Officer Staszewski instructed the officers to open the AED unit and follow the audio instructions the unit provides; Officer Colon opened the unit, Officer Rocha and Sgt. […]
On January 31, 2016, P.O. David Pasillas and P.O. Arnulfo Gomez responded to multiple 911 calls of an armed intruder who had broken into a house in the 7300 block of South Paulina Avenue. Inside the home, a male offender was holding a female victim at gunpoint. The officers entered the kicked in front door of the residence and were immediately fired upon by the home invader. Both officers subsequently returned fire and neutralized the threat. The offender was killed in the exchange and an accomplice was taken into custody. Thanks to the officers’ quick actions, the resident of the home was not harmed. P.O. Pasillas and P.O. Gomez began their training at the Chicago Police Academy on March 5, 2013. They first met in 2006 while serving in the U.S. Army in the same infantry unit. Officer Pasillas left the Army in 2007 and Officer Gomez continues to serve. Upon competing their foot patrol assignments and Operation “Safe Passage,” Pasillas and Gomez successfully bid to the 007th District where they are currently assigned to the 1st Watch. Both are motivated officers who love what they do for our country and city.
On November 28, 2012, P.O. Brian McVey and his Gang Team responded to a “man with a gun” call. While en route, his three-man patrol car was cut off causing the vehicle to hit a light pole and flip over. After striking a second light pole, the car came to rest at 70th and Stony Island in the 003rd District. Officer McVey was knocked unconscious and had to be extracted from the vehicle by members of the Chicago Fire Department. He spent two weeks at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and two weeks at the Rehab institute of Chicago recovering. Officer McVey has undergone numerous surgeries as a result of this accident. P.O. Brian McVey is a 10-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. During his police career, he has served in the 003rd District, Burglary Team and lastly assigned to the Gang Unit. He is happily married to Laura, his wife of three years and is the proud father to Hannah, 15 months. Brian received his Master’s Degree in Police Psychology and is currently teaching as an adjunct instructor.
On December 07, 2015 at approximately 2254 hours, Chicago Police Beat 726, P.O. Ryan Krolikowski #17019 and P.O. Eric Wicencyjusz #19869 observed a vehicle travelling westbound on Garfield Blvd at a high rate of speed. The speeding vehicle had lost control and crashed into a light pole violently flipping into the air finally landing on the sidewalk of 726 W. Garfield Blvd. Beat 726 arrived on scene before any fire apparatus and observed the vehicle in a crashed form with heavy smoke coming from the engine bay. They immediately requested the assistance for additional units and CFD emergency equipment via OEMC Zone 6. The following Chicago Police Department Beats arrived on scene to render aid: Beat 720 Sgt. Michael Cavanaugh #1063, Beat 787, P.O. Michael Bunyon #6190, P.O. Ivan Romo #15753, Beat 706CR, P.O. Andrew Turner #14932 and Operation Impact Beat 4155R P.O. Michael Guzman #15911. The responding units approached the vehicle as flames and heavy smoke now entered the car’s passenger compartment. P.O. Krolikowski, P.O. Wicencyjusz, P.O. Bunyon, and P.O. Romo immediately removed the unconscious driver who had suffered a broken femur during the collision. The fire quickly accelerated, now engulfing the entire engine bay, underneath the car as well into the passenger compartment. The heavy smoke, intense heat as well as the deployed side air bags made it impossible to see if there were additional passengers still in the vehicle. Sgt. Cavanaugh instructed the officers to quickly cut the airbags and search for additional victims at which time a second unconscious victim was located in the back seat. The vehicle suffered massive damage during the collision which caused the doors to be forced shut. Knowing that the car could possibly explode, the officers worked as a team and pulled the rear driver’s side door numerous times causing it to break from the body and the second victim was now pulled to safety. Sgt. Cavanaugh made one final attempt to feel around the passenger compartment for any other victims at which time he reached through the passenger side window and felt a head of hair. Sgt. Cavanaugh immediately alerted the other officers at which time they worked quickly to break the rear passenger side door from the frame. P.O. Bunyon reached into the vehicle and realized that the third victim was still wearing his seatbelt with his foot turned sideways under burning debris. P.O. Krolikowski immediately reached in and cut the seatbelt from the front seat passenger. P.O. Bunyon, Sgt. Cavanaugh, P.O. Guzman and P.O. Turner reached in and pulled the unconscious victim from the front seat to the back seat. These officers working in unison dragging the victim to a safe distance away. The crashed vehicle quickly became entirely engulfed in flames and was extinguished by the Chicago Fire Department. The three victims of the vehicle crash were taken to Cook County Stroger Hospital where life saving techniques were administered. All three occupants survived with broken bones, minor burns, smoke inhalation and various internal injuries. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation recognizes these officers for exceeding the expectations of the public by […]
On November 1, 2015 at approximately 2:30 AM, Chicago police officers Josue Pivaral and Shadi Sweiss, Beat 613R, were dispatched to an auto accident/car fire located at 7700 S. Loomis. Beat 606F Officers Eric King and Phoebe Flores arrived on scene first and advised over the radio that a vehicle was in flames and two people were trapped inside. Officers King and Flores sprung into action and were able to revive the unconscious driver and remove him from the burning car. Shortly thereafter, Officers Pivaral and Sweiss arrived on scene and rushed toward the burning vehicle. Officer Sweiss was handed a fire extinguisher by a 15-year old neighborhood teen whose quick thinking helped save the lives of the accident victims. Officers Sweiss and Flores tried to put out the overwhelming fire with the extinguisher while King and Pivaral attempted to pry open the passenger’s door to free the second occupant. The fire had already begun consuming the dashboard and white smoke was filling the vehicle. Following several failed attempts to pry open the door, Officer King told the passenger to cover his face with a t-shirt and struck the window with an asp multiple times until the glass shattered. The four officers then pulled the heavy passenger through the car window and dragged him to the sidewalk. Seconds after removing the trapped victim, a small explosion and flying glass came from the burning car. The officers then moved the passenger to a safer distance until a CFD fire truck arrived to extinguish the blaze. P.O. Josue Pivaral: Officer Pivaral has been assigned to the 006th District since joining the Chicago Police Department three years ago. He has been part of Safe Passage, the Foot Patrol and the Bike Unit. P.O. Eric King: Officer King has worked on an Incident Team in the 006th District for the past year. Prior to this assignment, he has worked in the 004th and 005th Distircts. P.O. Shadi Sweiss: Officer Sweiss joined the Chicago Police Department in April 0f 2013 and began his career in the 004th District. He has been assigned to the 006th District since October of 2014. P.O. Phoebe Flores: Officer Flores has worked in the 006th District since graduating from the Training Academy in April of 2011. She is currently assigned to the District’s Mission Team (606).
See The Story On CNN! On September 28, 2015 at approximately 7:00 PM, Officers Mike Modzelewski and John Conneely responded to a call of multiple persons shot at 5300 S. Aberdeen. Once the officers arrived on scene, they were immediately met by a frantic woman who was holding an eleven month old baby. The woman was screaming, “the baby is shot, the baby is shot!” Officer Modzelewski examined the baby and found that he had sustained a gunshot wound to his lower left waist and was losing a substantial amount of blood. Given the dire circumstances, both officers made the split-second decision to transport the baby to the hospital themselves rather than wait for an ambulance. At this time, Officer Conneely took the wheel as Officer Modzelewski cradled the child in the back seat of the squad car while applying pressure to the wound. Officer Conneely relayed through dispatch the route being taken to Stroger Hospital and requested that CPD begin blocking off intersections. He also asked that Stroger be notified to prepare for an eleven month old with a gunshot wound. Once at Stroger, both officers rushed the baby into the ER where they were met by hospital staff. The baby was eventually stabilized and released several days later. Had the officers not immediately removed the baby from the scene, the outcome could have been very different. Officer 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. Officer Conneely has been a Chicago police officer for nearly 17 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.
On February, 18, 2014 at approximately 11:18 AM, P.O. Abraham Lara was on routine patrol in the 011th District. As he approached the area of 514 N. Hamlin, Officer Lara came upon an individual discharging an automatic weapon. Without hesitation, Lara announced his presence as a police officer and engaged the shooter. Instead of surrendering, the offender fired on Officer Lara and escaped in a waiting white Kia Optima. The officer relayed the events to responding officers and gave a detailed description of the armed offenders and their vehicle. Officer Mario Mendoza, Officer Robert Caulfield and Officer Mike Alaniz heard Officer Lara’s call of “shots fired” at the police and went to assist. While en route, the officers spotted the offenders, activated their emergency equipment and attempted to curb the fleeing vehicle. The offenders refused to stop and attempted to elude the officers. In the area of 28th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway, the squad pulled alongside the offender’s vehicle and one of the occupants pointed a Tech 9 automatic firearm in the officers’ direction. Officer Caulfield and Officer Mendoza, in fear for their safety, fired several shots at the offender who kept popping up and down in the rear of the vehicle. As the offenders exited the expressway at 35th Street, Officer Alaniz fired on the fleeing vehicle causing the driver to lose control and crash. Weapons drawn, the three officers tactfully approached the offender’s vehicle. P.O. Mendoza opened the rear passenger door and found one of the offenders pointing his gun directly at the officer. Mendoza immediately fired on the offender and neutralized the threat. Officers Caulfield and Alaniz then moved in and were able to take the remaining offenders into custody. P.O. Abe Lara joined the Chicago Police Department in October of 1995. He has spent his entire career in the 011th District where he has served on the Area 4 Midnight Tact Team and Gang Team. He is currently assigned to the 2nd Watch. P.O. Robert Caulfield joined the Chicago Police Department in August of 2007. He began his police career in the 009th District and moved to the Area Central Saturation Team in 2012. He is currently assigned to the 005th District Tact Team. Officer Caulfield has more than 100 honorable mentions, 3 Department commendations and multiple complimentary letters. He has also been honored with the “Back of the Yards” Award and was presented the “Hero Award” at the “Battle of the Badges” in 2014. Officer Caulfield is the proud father of two young daughters. P.O. Michael Alaniz joined the Chicago Police Department in February of 2003. He began his career in the 009th District and worked there for 10 years before moving to Area Central Saturation. Officer Alaniz is currently assigned to the 009th District. P.O. Mario Mendoza is a 13-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. He began his career in the 011th District where he was the regular partner of fallen Chicago police officer Michael Gordon. Officer Mendoza has also worked […]
On March 24, 2015, Officers Michael S. Lawrence and Sergio Valdez were on Bicycle Patrol near the intersection of Michigan Ave and Chestnut, when they were informed by a Citizen that there was a male laying on the ground at the intersection of Michigan Ave and Walton. Officers Michael S. Lawrence and Sergio Valdezrelocated to Michigan Ave and Walton, upon arrival they observed an unresponsive male on the ground in the middle of Michigan Ave and Walton. Officer Michael S. Lawrence immediately began performing chest compressions, Officer Sergio Valdez began redirecting traffic off Michigan Ave and assisted Michael S. Lawrence in any way possible. The 75 year old male slowly regained consciousness and began to breathe. Both Officers continued to monitor the victim until CFD ambulance #18 arrived and transported him to Northwestern Hospital where he was listed in serious condition. Officer Sergio Valdez began his career as a Chicago police officer on February 25, 2002. During his 13 years on the Chicago Police Department he has been assigned to the 007th District, 025th District, and is currently assigned to the Area Central Bicycle Patrol Unit. Officer Michael S. Lawrence joined the Chicago Police Department in January 28, 2003. During his career as a police officer, he worked in the 007th district, 025th district and is currently assigned to the Area Central Bicycle Patrol Unit.
On March 26, 2015, Officer Michael K. Ephraim was working at Midway Airport when he was informed by the Manager of Harry Caray’s restaurant that a customer was having trouble breathing. Officer Walter M. Bland responded to the same call and upon arriving, observed P.O. Ephraim lifting an unresponsive man out of a chair and onto the floor. P.O. Ephraim performed CPR on the victim and P.O. Bland assisted while another officer retrieved the AED machine. The victim slowly regained consciousness and began to breathe. The AED machine was administered to the victim and announced “Shock Not Advised.” Both Officers continued to monitor the victim until CFD ambulance #21 arrived and transported him to MacNeal Hospital where he was listed in serious condition. Officer Walter M. Bland Jr. began his career as a Chicago police officer in December of 1985. During his 29 years on the Chicago Police Department he has been assigned to the 003rd District, 008th District, Area 3 mission team, The Auto Pound Section, OEMC, 001st District and is currently assigned to Midway Airport. Officer Michael K. Ephraim joined the Chicago Police Department in May of 1981. During his career as a police officer, he worked in the 003rd district, 009th district and is currently assigned to Midway Airport.
Officer Mark Davis began his career with the Chicago Police Department in August of 1994. He has worked in the 019th Dist, 008th Dist, Area 1 Mission Team, 021st Dist. and as an Instructor at the Chicago Police Training Academy’s Transitional Workshop. He is Currently assigned to the Crime Scene Investigations Unit as an Evidence Technician. On November 6, 2013, a semi tractor-trailer crashed and burst into flames on I-57 near Wentworth Avenue. Officer Davis was returning to his unit of assignment to complete an earlier investigation when he observed the flames and immediately proceeded to the crash site. Davis discovered that the 59 year old driver of the crashed semi was laying next to the burning wreckage. The driver was surrounded by flames and leaking fuel and due to his injuries, was unable to remove himself from imminent danger. Officer Davis discovered a path through the flames to the driver. The driver explained to officer Davis that he was unable to walk because of the burns on his feet. As the flames surrounding them were becoming more intense, officer Davis made the decision to physically lift the driver and was able pull him to safety. Read the ABC 7 News Story
Marlene Rivera became a Chicago Police officer in August 1995. Throughout her near 19 year career as a patrolwoman, Officer Rivera worked on the Southside and Northside of Chicago before ending up in the 014th District. Officer Edwin Pagan #4438 is also assigned to the 014th Police District. During the 15 years Officer Pagan served on the police force, he received 25 various department awards and 110 honorable mentions while he worked on several patrol units. As a resident of the 014th district for over 44 years, Officer Pagan volunteers his time in his community as a youth mentor to reduce gang activity and violence. On May 4 2015, an incident occurred where a young boy was severely shot in the leg by a drive by shooter at 3100 West Armitage in the Walgreens parking lot. Officer Rivera notified OEMC as she took off the victim’s t-shirt and placed it around the wound while applying pressure. Officer Rivera then requested CFD and put out a description of the vehicle that the offenders were operating at the time of the incident. Officer Edwin Pagan was on patrol in the 14th Police District working Beat 1406A when he responded to an assist call from Officer Marlene Rivera. When Officer Pagan arrived on scene he immediately use his LEMART training by making a makeshift tourniquet from a belt he received from a nearby citizen. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive Officer Pagan was able to strap the young boy’s leg with the belt to stop blood flow. CFD Chief of Paramedics Fitzgerald came to the scene and applied a traditional tourniquet to the victim’s leg. Shortly after, the ambulance followed and immediately treated the victim with proper care. The 014th District Police Officers responded admirably and with great intent. Offenders were apprehended, weapons were recovered, and the boy was taken to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where he recuperated from a rupture in his femoral artery and nerve damage where the bullet penetrated. With the heroic actions of both Officer Rivera and Pagan the young boy’s life was spared along with his leg.
Mark Czapla is an officer of 14 years with the Chicago Police Department. He spent a majority of his career working on the streets of the 015th District before moving into the 020th District. On the cold night of 14 Feb 2015, Officer Czapla and his partner Officer Joe Groh found themselves in a Walgreen’s parking lot (Czapla was planning on buying his wife a Valentines Day card) when they observed a commotion. Employees of the store were following a subject who had stolen numerous items.Naturally, the officers confronted the sizeable subject and informed him he would be arrested for shoplifting. Within moments the thief became agitated and began to resist the lawful arrest. After striking the officers, the words of, “he’s going for my gun…he’s got my gun,” were heard by Officer Czapla; the assailant some how had managed to disarm Officer Groh, pulling his pistol out of the holster. Immediately thereafter, a round had been shot at the officers during the struggle; the shot had missed the intended targets. With the intensity increasing, Officer Czapla was finally able to gain control of the pistol and pull it out of the hands of the assailant, a former Army veteran. Heroically, two citizens, Ray Robinson and Christopher Smith, also came to the aid to help gain control of the situation. With responding officers from the 020th and even 024th Districts, the assailant was arrested. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder, disarming a peace officer, and possession of a controlled substance; his bail was set at 2 million dollars.
Officer John Poulos #5972 joined the Chicago Police Department 26 March 2001. Officer Poulos grew up Chicago’s South Chicago neighborhood and has strong ties to the 004th District where he is currently assigned. Officer Poulos has been an instructor in the Education & Training Division teaching L.E.M.A.R.T. (Law Enforcement Medical Aid & Rescue Training) as well worked in the 007th District during his career. On 21 February 2015, Officer Poulos was on his way to the 004th District via southbound LSD when he witnessed an automobile swerve out-of-control and violently crash into a tree. Realizing the danger an accident of this magnitude possessed for the occupant(s), Officer Poulos pulled over to assist. Officer Poulos found a young man unresponsive and pinned within the mangled wreck. The automobile had caught fire in the engine compartment and smoke filled the inner compartment. A good samaritan used his fire extinguisher to quell the fire while Officer Poulos and others attempted to free the driver. At one point, the good Samaritan shouted that he was out of extinguisher and “the fire was flaring up again within the compartment and for everyone to get back.” Officer Poulos knowing that CFD would not arrive in time decided to risk his life by entering the vehicle to cut free the driver and extract him before the compartment was engulfed in flames. With the help of an off-duty firefighter (Tom – Kenosha Fire Department), Officer Poulos cut away the driver’s belt along with the seat and freed him from the fiery & smoke filled compartment where he was trapped. Officer Poulos was able to stabilize the driver until EMS could arrive using his LEMART training. Officer Poulos seeing the need to act, took control of this situation and directed the rescue to save this young mans life.