The Illinois State Police hosted the Department’s 37th Annual Awards Ceremony on Friday to recognize 92 sworn officers and civilians for outstanding skill, valor, ability and professionalism in the performance of their enforcement and civic duties. Officer of the Year, Medal for Honor, Purple Heart Medal and the Life Saving Medal were given to Troopers, Sergeants and Special Agents for their courage and outstanding service in various assignments.
The Department also recognized several civilian employees for their assistance that supports the Department’s mission of keeping Illinois safe. Awards include the Director’s Award of Distinction, Tele-Communicator of the Year, and Forensic Scientist of the Year. Additionally, officers and non-ISP civilians were given Awards of Distinction to recognize their contribution to law enforcement and Public Safety.
Officer of the Year, Trooper Bradley R. Williams
Assigned to District 20 for his entire career, Trooper Brad Williams exemplifies the tenets of the Illinois State Police – Integrity, Service, and Pride. His motivation and desire to excel are evident by his performance. Selected as a motorcycle officer in 2012, Trooper Williams can be found patrolling District 20 on his motorcycle regardless of temperature. He is often approached by citizens with questions regarding his motorcycle duties and is always willing to take the time to speak with and educate them. Trooper Williams maintains a high level of activity, including leading District 20 with over 950 citations in 2013, and his contribution to improving traffic safety is evident.
Trooper Williams’ dedication was never more evident than during the early morning hours of April 24, 2013. Prior to the start of Trooper Williams’ shift, a subject brutally murdered five people, including an infant, in Manchester, Illinois, and fled the scene. Upon reporting to duty on his motorcycle, Trooper Williams promptly began searching for the suspect. With area schools canceling classes and residents locking their doors in fear, Trooper Williams understood the magnitude of the situation. It was not long before Trooper Williams spotted the suspect vehicle and initiated a pursuit. He pursued the suspect on winding rural roads and remained remarkably calm providing updated locations and direction of travel. Local law enforcement joined the pursuit and eventually disabled the suspect’s vehicle. As the suspect exited his vehicle with a shotgun, Trooper Williams jumped from his motorcycle and drew his service weapon. Just as the suspect fired a round from his shotgun at officers, Trooper Williams and Winchester Police Chief George Lindsey engaged the suspect and fatally wounded him.
Faced with an ominous situation, Trooper Williams did what he was trained to do without regard for his personal safety. His courageous actions saved the lives of his fellow officers and prevented any further tragedy. The Illinois State Police is proud to have Trooper Williams among its ranks.
Telecommunicator of the Year, Laurie delosReyes
Ms. delosReyes has proudly served the Illinois State Police for 32 years as a telecommunications professional. She is an exceptional employee who has earned the respect of sworn officers, peers and subordinates. Ms. delosReyes consistently maintains her personal composure and professional demeanor during high stress situations. She is a knowledgeable employee and is well versed in her job duties as well as department policies and procedures. She possesses the knowledge to handle work of the most complex nature.
Ms. delosReyes has received countless letters of gratitude for helping with serious incidents during her career. On June 14, 2013, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources officer lost his footing in the Mississippi River and needed immediate assistance. He was unable to radio for help, however, Ms. delosReyes became concerned when she could not reach him for a status check. Acting on instinct, she made calls for assistance and the officer received the help he needed from several local agencies including the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Her persistence and attention to duty was not only evident on that day, but is used on a daily basis. Ms. delosReyes is a valued and loyal employee who is committed to her role as a Telecommunicator with the Illinois State Police. She handles emergency situations in a professional manner, even under the toughest circumstances. She strives for excellence in her job duties and can always be counted on to assist others. Ms. delosReyes is an important contributor to the success of District 7.
Forensic Scientist of the Year, Katherine A. Sullivan
Ms. Katherine Sullivan is a Forensic Scientist 3 in the Forensic Biology/DNA section at the Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory. Her dedication, integrity, leadership, and pride are demonstrated by her quality work and her commitment to advancing the field of forensic science. In 2013, she worked more than 300 DNA cases, far exceeding casework productivity expectations and placing her as one of the highest producing scientists in the Forensic Biology/DNA Section. More importantly, her work is consistently thorough and of the highest quality.
Ms. Sullivan’s leadership is evident through her forward thinking and her ability to plan for future scientific advancements, an attribute necessary for the constantly evolving science of DNA. As a result, she is frequently asked to assist on critical initiatives to ensure forward progress of the statewide DNA section. For example, in 2013, she was asked to review needed updates to the DNA Procedures Manual regarding Y-STR DNA analysis. She is well-respected among her peers and her technical counsel is often sought in identifying solutions to complex analytical issues.
Ms. Sullivan generously gives back to the community in the area of forensics, with activities ranging from service on a criminal justice advisory board, to providing informative presentations about forensic science. She works closely with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, providing training and guidance in the program to ensure appropriate evidence is collected properly in order to facilitate analysis. In 2013, she was integral in the creation of a feedback form for the nurses which allows them to understand how the swabs they collect provide useful information in the investigation of cases. This type of process improvement is one of Ms. Sullivan’s great strengths.
Her commitment to the agencies served by the Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory is exemplary. Ms. Sullivan has an excellent reputation with law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and judges. She is a dedicated employee and upholds the high standards set by the department because she sets her personal standards even higher. Ms. Sullivan consistently provides excellent and unwavering service to the Illinois State Police and the criminal justice community.
Medal for Honor
The Medal for Honor is awarded to Illinois State Police personnel who perform a heroic act that, by its nature, results in saving a life, preventing a serious crime, or apprehending a person who committed a serious crime.
The eligible act, while of a lesser degree than that required for the Medal for Valor, must nevertheless have been accomplished with distinction.
This year’s recipients:
Trooper Brian R. Scott, District 10
Trooper Brad R. Williams, District 20
The Purple Heart Medal is presented to Illinois State Police personnel who, while in the performance of enforcement duties, are seriously injured or killed while encountering deadly force or “other actions” causing serious, life threatening injuries or death. Receiving the Purple Heart this year is Trooper James M. Sauter.
On March 29, 2013, Trooper James M. Sauter was on duty in his ISP squad car when his vehicle was struck by a truck tractor semi-trailer at I-294 southbound at Willow Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene early Friday morning and had been a member of the Illinois State Police since June 29, 2008. Trooper Sauter had just completed a temporary assignment in Air Operations and was recently reassigned to District 15 as a patrolman.
The Lifesaving Medal is awarded to Illinois State Police personnel who perform actions or who apply techniques that result in saving or sustaining a human life. Honorees:
Captain John B. Rattigan, Bureau of Identification
Master Sergeant Theodore J. Rhodes, District 12
Sergeant Craig R. Demaret, SWAT
Trooper John W. Carroll, District 22
Trooper Dwayne L. Jennings, District Chicago
Trooper Michael J. Kasprak, District 17
Trooper Brian M. Kelliher, District Chicago
Trooper Chad R. Martinez, District 5
Trooper Jose F. Malave, District Chicago
Trooper Jose A. Montes, District Chicago
Trooper Ralph E. Shelton, District 13
Trooper Brian M. Spillane, District Chicago
Trooper Howard R. Sterling, District Chicago
Trooper Demetrio Torres, District Chicago
Trooper Joel D. Vanburen, District 2
Officer Tracy Grantlen, PSU
Director’s Award of Distinction
The Director’s Award of Distinction is presented to any individual, agency, or group outside the Illinois State Police who gave extraordinary support and assistance to accomplish the goals of the Department. Honorees:
Investigator Dwayne Buretz, Secretary of State Police
Mr. Nicholas D. Carter, Chicago, Illinois
Mr. Scott Emberle, Edelstein, Illinois
Ms. Susan Feldhake, Effingham, Illinois
Officer Steven Francisko, Illinois Conservation Police
Ms. Deanna Gawron, Westmont, Illinois
Mr. Michael S. Hairgrove, Schaumburg, Illinois
Mr. Marcos Hernandez, North Aurora, Illinois
Mr. Anthony Ladd, Chicago, Illinois
Chief George Lindsey, Chief of Winchester Police Department
Mr. Ron Newman, South Elgin, Illinois
Mr. Christopher Pratt (from 2013), Odin, Illinois
Mr. Tim Sjostrom, St. Charles, Illinois
Mr. Mike Stoner, St. Charles, Illinois
Ms. Mandy Vergara, Effingham, Illinois
Inspector Doug Wade, Blackhawk Area Task Force
Master Sergeant Robert Seas (Retired)
Department Achievement Medal
Aaron R. Kustermann, State Terrorism Intelligence Center
Officer of the Year Award
Officers nominated for the ISP Officer of the Year Award must display a combination of the following qualifications and characteristics: outstanding contribution in the area of assignment; valor in the line of duty; exceptional knowledge and ability to complete job functions; overall productivity; civic contributions; and professional appearance and demeanor. Officer of the Year nominees:
Division of Administration
Sergeant Michael A. Severino, Logistics Bureau
Division of Forensic Services
Sergeant Abigail B. Keller, Crime Scene Services Command
Division of Internal Investigation
Sergeant Elliet R. Alger, Southern Command
Division of Operations
Operational Services Command
Trooper Gregory A. Lecas, Special Operations Command
Special Agent Scott C. Rhodes, Medical Fraud Control Bureau
Trooper Jeffrey A. Meisenheimer, District 1
Trooper Nathan K. Schramka, District 2
Trooper Jose A. Alvarez, District Chicago
Trooper Jeffrey T. Murray, District 5
Trooper Scott W. Ahrens, District 6
Trooper Andy T. Fratzke, District 7
Trooper Jacob C. Duro, District 8
Trooper Eric J. Weston, District 9
Trooper Kevin C. Smith, District 10
Trooper Kenneth G. Patterson, District 11
Trooper Ryan J. Finney, District 12
Trooper Christopher J. Watson, District 13
Trooper Bryan M. Clauson, District 14
Trooper James A. Sauter, District 15
Trooper Brian J. Bottcher, District 16
Trooper John C. Morscheiser II, District 17
Trooper Stephen M. Tarter, District 18
Trooper Matthew D. Haywood, District 19
Trooper Brad R. Williams, District 20
Trooper Erik R. Shay, District 21
Trooper Brian C. Watkins, District 22
Special Agent Chanto K. Iverson, Zone 1
Special Agent Charles E. Davidson, Zone 2
Special Agent Anna M. Wasylyszyn, Zone 3
Special Agent Timothy M. Wilkins, Zone 4
Special Agent Douglas A. LeConte, Zone 5
Special Agent Elbert A. Jennings, Zone 6
Special Agent Jeffrey A. Kline, Zone 7
Telecommunicator of the Year Award
Telecommunicators nominated for the ISP Telecommunicator of the Year Award must display a combination of the following qualifications and characteristics: outstanding contribution in the area of assignment; exceptional knowledge and ability to complete job functions; initiative to expand knowledge through attendance in college courses or seminars; civic contributions; and professional appearance and demeanor.
Telecommunicator of the Year Nominees:
Connie S. Grenoble, District 1
Eileen G. Mahoney, District 2
Beth M. DiVirgilio, District Chicago
Jill D. Collum, District 5
Richard A. Fitzpatrick, District 6
Laurie A. delosReyes, District 7
Melissa Glaub Mullen, District 8
Cheryl N. Clodfelter, Springfield Communications Center (Dist. 9, 14, 20)
Brian P. Wrinkle, District 10
Deann R. Rizzi, Districts 11 & 18
Luke O. Lay, DuQuoin Communications (Dist. 12, 13, 19, 22)
Adam Fogle, District 15
Gail R. Johnson, District 16
Tavis Fivek, District 17
Bradley V. Richardson, District 21
Forensic Scientist of the Year Award
Nominees for the ISP Forensic Scientist of the Year Award must display a combination of the following qualifications and characteristics: superior performance of an individual regarding casework; superior job performance; actions which exceed every day operations; and extraordinary community service or exceptional community involvement. Forensic Scientist of the Year nominees:
Glenn D. Schubert, Southern Illinois Forensic Science Centre
Brian J. Long, Springfield Forensic Science Laboratory
Debra B. Minton, Morton Forensic Science Laboratory
Jon M. Flaskamp, Forensic Science Center at Chicago
Katherine A. Sullivan, Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory
Patrick J. Powers, Rockford Forensic Science Laboratory
Brian Stevenson, Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory
This year’s award ceremony was narrated by Lieutenant Colonel Kelly Walters, Division of Administration.