Death Classification: Line of Duty
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 19 years, 8 months, 12 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Office of the First Deputy Superintendent: Unit 544 - Detached Services (DS) - Uniformed Support Division
District of Incident (Present Day): Palos Heights, IL
Cause of Death: Illness - COVID-19
Age at Time of Death: 59
Date of Birth: 10/15/1962
Date of Appointment: 3/26/2001
Date of Incident: 12/8/2021
End of Watch: 12/8/2021
Date of Interment: 16 Dec 2021
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 9, Lot 11, Block 7, Section 18
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Ceremony Pending
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Ceremony Pending
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Ceremony Pending
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Ceremony Pending
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: Unknown
Incident & Biographic Details
Police Officer James R. Svec, Jr., Star #16713, aged 59 years, was a 19 year, 8 month, 12 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to Unit 544 – Detached Services (DS) – Uniformed Support Division.
On November 14, 2021, Officer Svec was on duty and fell ill, leaving work early. The next day Officer Svec was placed on the “”Medical Roll”” for flu-like symptoms after he began experiencing minor symptoms of COVID-19. He would soon test positive for COVID-19 and continue quarantine at his residence. With his symptoms worsening, he went to Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital, located at 12251 South 80th Avenue, Palos Heights, IL, and was admitted for bilateral covid pneumonia and remained there until his death on December 8, 2021.
Officer Svec worked in the Command Post for the Mayor’s Detail and throughout his shifts, he would have to interact with the public exposing himself to many who may have been infected with COVID-19. As a result, the Chicago Police Department has classified Officer Svec’s death as Line of Duty. Officer Svec was the fifth Chicago Police Officer to die in the line of duty from COVID-19.
Police Officer James R. Svec, born October 15, 1962, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 26, 2001, attended the Jackson Street Police Academy, and was issued Star #16713. On January 12, 2004, he was issued Police Officer Star #16607, after reporting his previous star lost. On January 16, 2004, he was reissued Police Officer Star #16713 after it was found. He earned 2 Department Commendations, The 2019 Crime Reduction Award, The 2009 Crime Reduction Award, The 2004 Crime Reduction Award, The NATO Summit Service Award, 1 Presidential Election Deployment Award, 11 Honorable Mentions and 4 Complimentary Letters during his career.
Officer Svec was waked at Lawn Funeral Home located at 7909 State Road, Burbank, IL. His funeral mass was held at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church located at 8000 Linder Avenue, Burbank, IL. He was laid to rest on December 16, 2021 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 9, Lot 11, Block 7, Section 18.
Officer Svec was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. He was survived by his ex-wife, Beth; daughters: Chelsea, Samantha and Sydney and siblings: Joey, Sherri and Tammy Sharpe. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Joanne.