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August 27, 2012

Lt. Governor Simon recognizes Law Enforcement Medal of Honor recipients

SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon honored 69 of Illinois’ courageous law enforcement officers at the Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor ceremony today. The officers, nominated by their commanders, are recognized for displaying exceptional bravery and heroism. Two awards were granted posthumously to officers killed in the line of duty.

“Law enforcement officers are dedicated to protecting and serving Illinois communities and deserve recognition for their bravery and commitment,” Simon said. “As a Jackson County prosecutor, I had the privilege of working with many outstanding law enforcement officers, and I am honored to be here today among so many of our state’s heroes.”

Among the honorees was Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey. Bailey, only a few weeks from retirement, had just returned home after his midnight shift and was cleaning his car when he was shot and killed.

Officer Michael Flisk of the Chicago Police Department also received a posthumous honor. Flisk was responding to a garage burglary when the perpetrator returned to the scene and fatally shot both Flisk and the burglary victim.

“Today we honor these heroes who are tireless and who have all made tremendous personal sacrifices for a cause greater than themselves,” said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. “Police work is a dangerous profession and the heroic acts of these officers reflects what is positive about police work."

Special Agent Starlena Wilson of the Illinois State Police was also recognized. In 2010 while stopping a violator on a Chicago highway, Wilson was hit and pinned between the violator’s car and another car whose driver was distracted while texting. Wilson sustained spinal injuries, as well as fractures to both legs and her pelvis. Following nine surgeries and hundreds of hours in physical therapy, Wilson returned to full duty just 11 months after the accident.

In an effort to prevent future traffic incidents because of texting, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5101 into law last month, to prohibit use of a hand-held mobile phone by a commercial vehicle operator. Through House Bill 5099, motorists are now prohibited from using a mobile phone when driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene.

“Our law enforcement officers do an incredible job protecting our communities and keeping us safe,” Simon said. “We owe it to them to ensure their work environment is as safe as possible.”

The Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor was established by law in 1990 and awarded annually until 2010. Under Director Grau’s leadership, the awarding committee was reestablished this year and selected the following recipients from 2009, 2010 and 2011 law enforcement incidents. For more information on the awardees, please click here.

2009 Medal of Honor Recipients

Chicago Police Department:

  • Officer Matthew S. Borkowski
  • Officer Bryan R. Hoffman
  • Officer James D. Sivicek
  • Sergeant James R. Buhrke
  • Officer Efrain M. Carreno
  • Officer Brandon C. Murphy
  • Officer Gerald L. Neals
  • Officer Roman A. Torres
  • Officer Sergio M. Corona
  • Officer Jerry G. Crisp
  • Officer Mahmoud Halcem
  • Officer Enrique Pacheco
  • Officer William Wagner
  • Officer Christopher L. Davis
  • Officer Brian D. Gaffney
  • Officer Robert A. Ontiveros
  • Officer Patrick Glinski
  • Officer Mark O’Hara
  • Officer Brett J. Goldstein
  • Officer Timothy J. Gould
  • Officer Francisco D. Iza
  • Officer Steven D. Jacoby
  • Officer Michael L. Paul
  • Officer Juan R. Rivera
  • Officer Brian A. Sloyan
  • Officer Rafael Magallon
  • Officer Darren A. Wright

Elgin Police Department 

  • Sergeant Clay McDonnough

Illinois State Police

  • Trooper Blaine G. McBride (hometown: Murphysboro)
  • Master Sergeant William D. Sons (Carterville)
  • Trooper Brian Wilson (Ava)
  • Trooper Robert D. Swift (Benton)

Justice Police Department

  • Corporal Ronald J. Brenza
  • Officer Carmen R. Scardine

Kinkaid Police Department

  • Chief of Police Richard S. Adams

Lincoln Police Department 

  • Chief of Police Stuart R. Erlenbush
  • Officer Michael J. Fruge

2010 Medal of Honor Recipients

Chicago Police Department 

  • Officer Vilma S. Argueta
  • Officer Rodrigo J. Corona
  • Officer Michael R. Bailey, posthumously
  • Officer Jesse W. Belcher
  • Officer Francisco J. Gonzalez
  • Officer Michael R. Flisk, posthumously
  • Officer Kevin B. Gibbons
  • Officer Christopher M. Saladino
  • Sergeant Jason A. Kaczynski
  • Officer Kimberly M. Thorp

Illinois State Police

  • Trooper Christopher R. Jones (Midlothian)
  • Trooper Christopher D. Price (Glenwood)
  • Trooper Nick L. Shoemaker (Iroquois)
  • Special Agent Starlena Z. Wilson (Country Club Hills)

University of Illinois Police Department

  • Officer Matthew J. Ballinger

Waukegan Police Department

  • Patrolman Michael P. Donnenwirth

Will County Sheriff’s Office

  • Sergeant Thomas R. Budde

2011 Medal of Honor Recipients

Aurora Police Department 

  • Officer Pedro Rodriguez

Chicago Police Department 

  • Officer Joseph K. Biggane
  • Officer David G. Hickey
  • Officer Jeffery S. Pacocha
  • Officer Juan J. Perez
  • Officer Thomas M. Hanrahan
  • Officer Patrick S. Kelly
  • Officer James A. McNichols

Harvey Police Department

  • Officer Richard M. Jones

Itasca Police Department

  • Officer Raymond M. Anderson

Pekin Police Department

  • Lieutenant Don Baxter
  • Patrolman Seth J. Ranney

Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office

  • Deputy William R. Baney

Will County Sheriff’s Office

  • Deputy Michael D. Nalley

Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office

  • Deputy Frank A. Pobjecky


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