Fifth brother of police family graduates academy

January 10, 2008 4:44:54 PM PST
It's always a special day for family members when one of their own becomes a Chicago police officer. But perhaps no family has had a day like this one.When Kevin Stapleton graduated Thursday, he joined four other brothers who are already on the force.

The graduation of new Chicago police officers celebrates the men and women who have chosen to commit themselves to service. This family is the epitome of service.

"Following in these guys footsteps, it's some big feet I gotta follow in. they're a little taller than I am," said Stapleton.

Now, five of the Stapleton sons are active-duty police officers.

"it's an honor to have them all together. I'm very proud. Not a lot of people say they're proud of their siblings' career choice, but I am. It's the same as mine," said Officer Dan Stapleton, brother.

"I'm so proud of my brothers, and I know that each one of them have been raised by my father, who' a Chicago detective, and he's taught them well. So I know they're brave and they're gonna do well," said Kerri Armstrong, sister.

"My boys have always done everything together. They played baseball, football, Cub Scouts, I mean, they've always been good friends besides brothers," said Cathy Stapleton, mother.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley offered advice to the new officers and appreciation, especially to the Stapletons.

"You think of public service, you think of people like this family, the Stapleton family, giving their sons and daughters and loved ones in regards to public service, serving and protecting people in the city of Chicago. And all of us deeply appreciate it," said Daley

The Stapletons' great-great grandfather was Chicago's chief of police in the late 1800s. The officers' father is a retired detective and they have two aunts and an uncle currently on the force.

So what's in store for the next generation?

"My father never pressured us, didn't come home with stories. He kinda let us make our own decisions, hoping to do that with him too. I'm hoping he'll be a doctor, if not, maybe he'll choose a police career, too," said Officer Jack Stapleton, eldest brother.

The officers say while they are grateful to have careers in law enforcement, the down side is they work different shifts, so they don't spend as much time together as they'd like to off duty.