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Retired CPD officer killed in Afghanistan remembered for his generosity

June 22, 2012 3:09:12 PM PDT
Family and friends are remembering Tom Boyle, a former Chicago police officer who died in Afghanistan where he provided training and security.

The Barrington Hills resident had left the ease of retirement to serve as a law enforcement contractor hired to train Afghans for security and police forces there.

"Tom dedicated his whole life to serving people," said Steve Kirby, friend and co-worker. "Tom didn't need to do this from a financial point of view, but Tom needed to do this from a personal point of view."

After all, this wasn't the first time the 62-year-old traveled to some faraway place to help people he didn't know. He also did two tours in both Kosovo and Iraq after retiring from a 30-year-long career at the Chicago Police Department.

While at CPD, he's credited with capturing Tyrone and Larry Strickland and recovering the the brothers were later convicted of using to murder Wheeling police officer Kenneth Dawson in 1985.

"He was a hero. He will always have a place in the hearts of the men and women of the Wheeling Police Department and the Dawson family," said Chief William Benson, Wheeling Police Department.

Boyle grew up on Chicago's Northwest Side and joined the Marine Corp right out of high school. He served in Vietnam and earned the Cross of Gallantry.

After spending 30 years as a cop, Boyle worked for Kirby's private detective agency, but eventually went on to work as a security contractor overseas.

Boyle's wife says her husband was driven to make life better for people especially children. She learned of his death after she had sent him toys he's requested for Afghan kids.

"He said, could you pick up a doll and a stuffed animal. There is a little girl out here with absolutely nothing.' And that was so like him, and I would do this often," said Pauline Boyle, wife.

Boyle had the conviction to always make a difference.

"We all make choices as we go through life," said Kirby. "I think Tom lived life to the fullest."

Tom Boyle is survived by his wife of 35 years and his son, Ryan. Visitation and funeral services are planned for June 30.

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