Law enforcement community honors fallen officers at Illinois Capitol

Law enforcement community honors fallen officers at Illinois Capitol

By COLE LONGCOR
Capitol News Illinois
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD – Six fallen police officers were honored at an annual memorial service outside the State Capitol Thursday.

The Illinois Police Officers Memorial occurs annually on the first Thursday of May to honor officers who died in the line of duty and to support their families.

“No one looks forward to this day. We all wish we didn’t have to have a day like this,” Treasurer Micheal Frerichs said. “Every year we come back. And we’ll keep coming back for those people in law enforcement who gave their lives but also for their families.”

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs speaks to the crowd at the annual Police Officers Memorial in Springfield on Thursday. “Every year we come back. And we’ll keep coming back for those people in law enforcement who gave their lives but also for their families,” Frerichs said at the ceremony. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki)

There were two 2024 honorees: Officer Andres Mauricio Vasquez Lasso and Officer Aréanah Makayla Preston, both of the Chicago Police Department. Vasquez Lasso was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance on March 1, 2023, and Preston was shot and killed during an attempted robbery immediately following her shift on May 6, 2023..

Four historic honorees were also recognized: officer John Francis Kane of the Cicero Police Department, who died on Nov. 12, 1910; Sheriff Ray Boston of the Montgomery County Sherrif’s Office, who died on July 23, 1947; Deputy Sheriff Andrew H. Sloan of the Sangamon County Sherrif’s Office, who died on Jan. 2, 1951; and Detective Todd C. Gillerlain of the Chicago Police Department, who died on May 7, 2020.

“Each year it pains me more and more to see even more families join the club that no one ever willingly signs up for, the Gold Star Families,” Comptroller Susanna Mendoza said.

Mendoza, whose brother is a Chicago police sergeant who became permanently disabled after contracting COVID-19 in 2020, spoke out against the hate and violence towards police.

“I’m disgusted by the vilification of our police force,” she said. “This vilification of the very people who are serving and protecting us is putting each and every one of you in danger.”

Retired Chicago police officer Mike Ostrowski speaks to the crowd at the annual Police Officers Memorial in Springfield on Thursday. “Their names are etched in a wall behind me,” he said of the state’s officers who died in the line of duty. “But their spirit is etched in our souls.” (Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki)

The ceremony included reading The Survivors Prayer, a gun salute, and the playing of Amazing Grace and Taps. At the end of the ceremony the victims’ families were presented with plaques and casings.

Many of the speakers’ remarks focused on themes of memory and legacy, including retired Chicago police officer Mike Ostrowski’s speech.

“Their names are etched in a wall behind me,” he said. “But their spirit is etched in our souls.”

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Events

July 2024
August 2024
September 2024
October 2024
No event found!
Prev Next