The Evanston Police Department held its annual awards ceremony on May 17, recognizing police officers and civilians for their acts above and beyond the expected in the interest of public safety. Deputy police chiefs Beth Wiedlin and Tom Cabanski presided over the ceremony, which began and ended with an honor guard and bagpipes.
The deputy chiefs described the actions of the honorees, which included stopping the sexual assault of a juvenile, intervening in attempted suicides, rescuing people trapped in cars after traffic accidents, saving officers’ lives and getting guns and drugs off the street.
After a spate of bank robberies, Officer Loyce Spells helped improve bank safety by setting up a list-serve that provides timely information about suspected offenders, said Deputy Chief Wiedlin.
Officer Francesca Henderson was recognized as “Officer of the Year” for saving fellow officers from the threat of an armed man while “responding to a domestic battery investigation,” Deputy Chief Wiedlin said.
Detectives Jeremy Nieman and Tosha Wilson and Officer Matthew George negotiated the surrender of the suspect in the stabbing at Bill’s Blues Bar on Davis Street last year. The ultimately successful negotiations took place over 24 hours.
“Operation Quick Buck,” a joint operation with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police and the police departments of Skokie, Wilmette and Lincolnwood, was created to recover proceeds from local thefts, burglaries and robberies. Detectives Kyle Benoit and Vince Santillo received a unit citation for their work on this four-month operation.
Another unit citation went to the Neighborhood Enforcement Team for their covert surveillance in the 1600 block of Emerson Street. This operation was an offshoot of Operation Quick Buck that netted cocaine, cannabis, psilocybin, heroin and handguns. Commander James Hutton, Sergeant Joseph Dugan, detectives Brian Batz, Joseph Bush, Michael Endre, Elizabeth Glynn, Gil Levy, Larry Miller, Anna Ostap, James Pillars and Jody Wright and Officer Matthew George were part of the operation.
Civilians recognized for their actions were Ninth Ward Alderman Coleen Burrus, Karen Linn Kopan, Joaquin Brieva, Donna Schultz and Maria Marini. Police officers were particularly moved by the actions of Ms. Schultz, an eyewitness to a motorcycle accident that severely injured Detective Joe Bush. She obtained information that helped the authorities and family members. As Ms. Schultz was unable to attend the ceremony, Deputy Chief Wiedlin said, Detective Bush planned to deliver in person the honorable-mention certificate.