Police officers honored for heroic acts

October 14, 2009 4:25:40 PM PDT
The Cook County Sheriff's Office honored men and woman on Wednesday from police departments who went above and beyond the call of duty.Many put their own lives on the line to help protect others. Two Chicago police officers who lost their lives were given special recognition.

Nearly 100 police officers from across Cook County were recognized on Wednesday morning at the sheriff's law enforcement awards ceremony for their heroic efforts. First to be called were the five sheriff officers who arrested a child sex trafficking operation that resulted in the arrest of a Midlothian woman.

"This had to do with a mother that was exploiting her child. I'm just glad we could take some children out of harm's way and finally do some good," said Anthony Stack, Cook County sheriff officer.

"I am so proud of him. I know Patrick is up in heaven looking down on him and saying way to go," said Marge Stack, Stack's mother.

Chicago police officers Nathaniel Taylor and Alex Valadez were recognized posthumously for their bravery. Taylor was a narcotics officer killed while serving a search warrant at a drug house and Valadez was killed investigating shots fired in Englewood.

"It's important that people understand and honor these people that put their lives on the line," said Tom Dart, Cook County sheriff.

"It's great to be here and listen to all the stories and acts of bravery," said Don Hoard, Chicago police officer.

"I feel honored. It's a true honor. Just doing what we do every day," said Lawrence Stuckert, Chicago police officer.

"One minute you see a car and the next minute it's on fire and people are inside and you got to react. You don't even think, you just think about getting the people out of the car," said Gregory Strelczyk, Chicago police officer.

Skokie police officer Timothy Gramins was recognized for his heroic efforts. He wound up in a shoot out with a suspected bank robber who fired 22 shots at him. Gramins ended up killing the suspect.

"You do not have time to be scared. You go out, you do the job your were trained to do and that was my job for the day," said Gramins.


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