The Cicero Police Department awarded a series of commendations on Tuesday to members of the Cicero Police Department for various acts of valor and exemplary service. Here are the photos and the stories behind each award:
DEPARTMENT COMMENDATION AWARD
Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
On New Year’s Eve, 2018, Cicero Police Gang Crimes Tactical Officers Branislav Dragisic, Asalem Haleem, Jesus Jimenez and Michael Stasiak were in the area of 1300 S. 58ct, when they heard numerous rounds of gunfire. GCTU Officers immediately without hesitation for their safety began to move on foot towards the sound of gunfire. As the T/O’s approached the rear of 1334 S. 57ct, they observed a subject identified as Derek Martinez run into the garage, while armed with a handgun and a AR style assault rifle. Subject Martinez was immediately placed in custody and had in his possession a loaded Smith and Wesson .40 caliber handgun, and an M&P AR style assault rifle. Subject Martinez was subsequently charged with Felony Reckless Discharge of a Firearm.
GCTU Officers Dragisic, Haleem, Jimenez and Stasiak’s, diligent police work, dedication to the community’s safety, and heroic actions protected our citizens from a reckless act and removed two dangerous weapons from within the Town of Cicero.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting this “Department Commendation Award” to Gang Crimes Tactical Officers Dragisic, Haleem, J.Jimenez, and Stasiak
LIFE SAVINGS AWARD
On August 15th 2018 Officer Michael McMahon responded to a call of a fight at 5002 W. 30th st. Officer McMahon arrived on scene and observed a male subject yelling and screaming that a dog was inside an SUV attacking a female occupant. Officer McMahon then observed a black pitbull biting and attacking a female occupant who was sitting in the rear passenger side of the SUV. Officer McMahon approached the vehicle and attempted to open the door with negative results. Officer McMahon pulled out his duty ASP and attempted to break out the vehicle windows several times with no success. Officer McMahon and a second male who came over then proceeded successfully breaking out the window with a bat. Officer McMahon immediately and without hesitation opened the door and pulled the female occupant out of the SUV. He then observed the dog make his way to the rear of the vehicle where a female child was located. The dog then began attacking the child by biting her in the thigh at which time Officer McMahon opened the hatchback door and was able to free her to safety. Officer McMahon then attempted to lock the dog in the SUV, but the dog was able to exit the vehicle. Officer McMahon was then able to secure the occupants and the citizens in a safe zone on sidewalk in front of 5002 West 30th Street. Officer McMahon was then confronted by the dog who proceeded to growl and bark at him while taking an aggressive stance and finally lunging at him, placing him in fear of his safety and the safety of the citizens that he just rescued. With this, Officer McMahon immediately drew his duty weapon and was able to shoot the dog, eliminating the threat to himself and the citizens. At this time, assisting officers arrived on scene and rendered preliminary medical aid to Juanita Reyna who sustained a dog bite to her right arm and her 9 year old granddaughter Bianca Reyna who also sustained a dog bite to her inner thigh. Cicero Paramedics then arrived on scene and transported both victims to the hospital. Officer McMahon’s quick actions, and critical thinking enabled him to save the victims from a possible fatal situation.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting Officer Michael McMahon this “Life Saving Award”
LIFE SAVINGS AWARD
Aggravated Battery with a Knife
On October 10th 2018, Tactical Officer Asalem Haleem responded to a call of a stabbing victim at 5129 W. 23rd Pl. T/O Haleem arrive on scene and encountered the victim, James Thomas who was bleeding profusely from a stab wound underneath his left armpit. Officer Haleem assessed the situation, referred to his training and immediately applied a tourniquet to Thomas left arm above the wound preventing additional loss of blood. James Thomas was quickly escorted to Cicero Paramedics, and was transported to MacNeal Hospital for further medical treatment. MacNeal hospital doctors related that James Thomas life was saved due to the quick actions and application of the tourniquet by Cicero Police Tactical Officer Haleem. Tactical Officer’s valiant efforts deserved the utmost praise and recognition.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting T/O Asalem Haleem this “Life Saving Award”
DETECTIVE OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Cicero Police Department recognizes Detective David Leuzzi of the Detective Division with the “Detective of the Year Award”. Detective Leuzzi has been assigned as a Detective for 14 years, in that time he has been an instrumental part of a Detective Division. Detective Leuzzi has displayed an exemplary work ethic throughout the duration of his career and more importantly throughout the entire 2018 calendar year. Detective Leuzzi work ethic, experience and training have helped him handle critical and sensitive investigations. His positive attitude and professionalism extend from the Cicero Police Department to his assignments with the WESTAFF Homicide Task Force as an investigator. He has shown tireless devotion to the department needs, which has made this nominee, indispensable to the Cicero Police Department.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting Detective David Leuzzi this 2018 “Detective of the Year Award”
DEPARTMENT COMMENDATION AWARD
Diomar Rangel Homicide
On October 25th, 2018 Cicero Police personnel responded to a shooting victim at 1439 S. 48th Ct. The victim Diomar Rangel was transported to the hospital for medical treatment where he succumbed to his wounds. Through initial witness interviews the offender was named and identified as Israel Villegas. Officer Frank Kane arrived in the area and observed the offender matching the description, fleeing the scene on foot. Ofc Kane, immediately detained the subject and Cicero Patrol Officers and Detectives conducted witness showups on scene with positive identification on the subject as being the offender. Officer Edwin Arocho then began to backtrack offender Villegas escape route and was able to obtain pivotal video surveillance that lead him to recover the murder weapon and a large amount of cannabis that the offender was able to stash underneath a nearby front porch prior to him fleeing.
Detectives continued to interview witnesses while coordinating with members of the Illinois State Police Evidence technicians which aided in gathering further evidence needed to charge the offender Israel Villegas. Diligent Police work and skill kept multiple witnesses who were traumatized by the event cooperating during a span of almost 12 hours while the investigation progressed. After reviewing collected evidence and the facts of the case the Cook County States Attorney’s Office approved the charge of First Degree Murder against Israel Villegas.
Thanks to the efforts of the Patrol and Detective Divisions by working together this case was solved in a very quick manner.
The Cicero Police Department is honored in presenting this Department Commendation Award to Officer Edwin Arocho, Officer Frank Kane, Detective Elizabet Acevez, and Detective David Leuzzi.
Armed Robbery/Unlawful Use of Weapon by Felon
On August 20th 2018, Officers Arlis, McShane, & Leuzzi, were in the area of 1426 S. 49th Court attempting to locate La Raza street gang member Victor A. Flores who was wanted on an arrest warrant for several Armed Robberies. Officers had knowledge that Flores was an armed and dangerous individual who had previously shot at Cicero Police Officers. While patrolling the area Officers Arlis, McShane, and Leuzzi observed subject Victor Flores on the front porch of his residence. Officers quickly coordinated a tactical plan and apprehended Flores without incident. While in custody officers discovered that Flores had a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun on his possession tucked in his waistband.
Detectives Alba and Lara arrived on scene and assisted with securing the scene at which time they encountered Flores’s girlfriend, Naamah Gray, who committed the armed robberies with Flores. While taking Gray into custody, officers Alba and Lara discovered a fully automatic machine gun and thousands of live rounds of ammunition in the basement of Flores’s home. Offenders Flores and Gray were subsequently charged with multiple counts of Armed Robbery and Victor Flores was also subsequently charged with federal weapon offenses with the assistance of the ATF.
Diligent police work, dedication to the community’s safety, and heroic actions protected our citizens with the apprehension of two violent offenders and the recovery a dangerous weapons from within the Town of Cicero.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting this “Merit Award” to Officers Arlis, McShane, Leuzzi, Detectives Alba, and Lara
Mental Health Officers
In 2018 the Cicero Police Department created a Peer Support Team intended to provide support and resource referrals for department personnel and their families, to maintain a healthy, happy, and high performing employees. The Cicero Police Department recognizes the Mental Health Officers selfless dedication to your fellow employees and applauds your leadership in being one of the founding members of this team.
The Cicero Police Department is honored in presenting the “Mental Health Officers” award to the following officers for commendable work contributing to a culture of thoughtfulness and consideration for fellow colleagues within the Cicero Police Department.
Officer Marcus Ellison
Officer Eddie Perez
Officer Scott McShane
Officer Angie Ingve
Officer Richard Richardson
Officer Corina Sumner
Officer Joseph Uribe
Officer Shannon Leuzzi
Officer Marcelino Soto
Officer Brian Trapani
Detective Robert Alvarado
Detective Mario Alegria
Sergeant Waldemar Cruz
Counselor Jaclyn Wallen
DEPARTMENT COMMENDATION AWARD
LIFE SAVINGS AWARD
On August 14th 2018 Officer Marcelino Soto responded to a call of an unconscious three month old infant at 5204 W. 23rd. Officer Soto arrived on scene and was advised that the infant was unresponsive and not breathing. Officer Soto assessed the situation and immediately without hesitation referred to his training and began to perform CPR, where he was able to obtain a pulse. Cicero Paramedics arrived on scene and transported the infant to MacNeal Hospital for further medical treatment. Once at MacNeal, the baby was transferred to Loyola Medical Center for advanced medical care where she subsequently expired two days later from an irreversible brain injury as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Although the Infant expired, Officer Soto’s actions, if not performed, would beyond a reasonable doubt, have resulted in the immediate death of the infant and his efforts deserved the utmost praise and recognition.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting Officer Marcelino Soto this “Life Saving Award”
PERFECT ATTENDANCE 2018
The Cicero Police Department is honored to recognize the following personnel with perfect attendance in 2018. Your sense of duty, reliability, and dedication has distinguished yourself amongst your peers. The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting this “Perfect Attendance” award to the following officers
Officer Kevin Arlis
Officer Edwin Arocho
Detective Armando Barona
Officer Ervin Barrios
Officer Baldo Bello
Officer Efrain Cervantes
Officer Eduardo Diaz
Detectiev Andy Gutierrez
Officer Jonathan Ingve
T/O Porfirio Jimenez
Detective Edgar Lara
Officer Scott McShane
Officer Matthew Opalecky
Detective Jose Sanchez
Sergeant Frank Savaglio
Officer Luke Smith
T/O Micheal Stasiak
Detective Stephen Struska
PATROL OFFICERS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Hopeton Rowe Jr, Eddie Perez, Vito Pacione
The Cicero Police Department recognizes Officer Hopeton Rowe Jr, 1st Watch, Officer Eddie Perez, 2nd Watch, and Officer Vito Pacione, 3rd Watch, with the Patrol Division “Officer of the Year Award”. Officers Rowe Jr, Perez, and Pacione have demonstrated an outstanding work ethic and unwavering positive attitude toward both fellow Cicero Police Officers and citizens in the community. Officers Rowe Jr, Perez, and Pacione’s relentless dedication has been an attribute to the reduction of violent crimes and apprehension of violent offenders. These Officers have shown tireless devotion to the department needs, which has made this nominee, indispensable to the Cicero Police Department.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting Officers, Hopeton Rowe Jr, Eddie Perez, and Vito Pacione with this 2018 “Officer of the Year Award”
Sergeant Jason Stroud
In 2018 Sergeant Jason Stroud organized two successful fundraising events for Cicero Police Department members in need. By organizing these events Officer Stroud surpassed any reasonable expectations and went above and beyond on his own time to assist our fellow Officers in a time of crisis. Your exemplary leadership and dedication in these efforts have set a standard for care and compassion within the Cicero Police Department.
The Cicero Police Department is honored in presenting Sergeant Jason Stroud with this Superintendent Award for commendable work contributing to a culture of thoughtfulness and consideration for fellow colleagues within the Cicero Police Department.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Cicero Police Department recognizes Officer Eduardo Diaz with the “Rookie of the Year Award”. Probationary Officer Eduardo Diaz was hired by the Cicero Police Department in April of 2017. He underwent a sixteen week field training period without incident while achieving high marks by his superiors. After being released from the field training program for solo patrol, Officer Diaz consistently exceeded the Cicero Police Department and Patrol Division’s standards on productivity. Officer Diaz professional demeanor and positive attitude have been self-evident as an example for both rookies and veteran officers. Officer Diaz work ethic and self-motivation has reflected great credit upon himself and the Cicero Police Department.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting Officer Eduardo Diaz this “Rookie of the Year Award”
GANG CRIMES TACTICAL OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Cicero Police Department recognizes Tactical Officers Asalem Haleem from the Gang Crimes Tactical Unit with the “Tactical Officer of the Year Award”. Tactical Officers Haleem has demonstrated an outstanding work ethic, warrior mindset under the most of critical situations and unwavering positive attitude toward both fellow Cicero Police Officers and citizens in the community. Tactical Officers Haleem relentless dedication has been an attribute to the reduction of violent crimes and apprehension of violent offenders that resulted in over 20 Unlawful Use of Weapon arrests in 2018. T/O Haleem’s actions has earned him the respect, and honor amongst his peers and the community for showing his tireless devotion, which makes this nominee, indispensable to the Cicero Police Department.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting T/O Asalem Haleem this 2018 “Tactical Officer of the Year Award”
UNIT CITATION AWARD
Juan A. Ramos Homicide
On September 3rd, 2018 Cicero Police personnel responded to a shooting victim at 5028 30th Street. Upon arrival Detectives learned that victim Juan A. Mendez-Ramos suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Mendez-Ramos was transported to Loyola Hospital for treatment but unfortunately succumbed to his wound and was pronounced a short time later. Offender Alejandro Carrillo was immediately identified as the shooter and was placed into custody. The preliminary investigation conducted by Detectives on scene revealed that the murder weapon was inside the residence. Detectives began working on a search warrant for the recovery of the weapon and at the same time began making preparations to interview a total of twenty seven witnesses to the Murder. The search warrant was approved and executed resulting in the recovery of the murder weapon inside of the residence. During the course of 48 hours, Detectives completed twenty seven electronic recorded witness interviews that implicating the suspect Alejandro Carillo. Cicero Police Detectives then had the opportunity to interview offender Carrillo who waived his Miranda Rights and made several incriminating statements pertaining to the Murder, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed the investigation and Alejandro Carrillo was charged with Felony First Degree Murder.
The Cicero Police Department is honored with presenting this Unit Citation Award to Detectives Alba, Alegria, Barona, DeLaFuente, Gurrola, Lara, Lopez, Rueda, Savage, Struska and Detective Sergeant Wojtowicz