Fallen officer's star retired in ceremony

January 18, 2011 4:22:21 PM PST
A Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty was honored at police headquarters Tuesday.

Fallen Chicago Police Officer Thor Soderberg was killed July 7, 2010 in an apparent robbery attempt.

The police department and city officials gave Soderberg's star a permanent place of honor at police headquarters, adding it to the honored star case.

It was standing room only during the ceremony. Family members, including Soderberg's widow, sister, brother and mother, attended the event along with friends and colleagues.

His widow, Jennifer Loudon, spoke about her husband's life.

"I know that if Thor was with us today, he would want to remind us that no matter what happens in life you always have to get involved when someone is in danger," said Loudon. "If one person is hurting and we know and we don't do anything about it, then we ultimately contribute to whatever that person does down the road."

The 43-year-old officer was killed with his own weapon in a police parking lot last year as he was returning to his parked car at the end of his shift. He had been a police officer and instructor for 11 years.

"He was an outstanding police officer, a devoted husband and a friend and colleague, so many other people whose lives are a crusade to help our young people have a brighter future," said Mayor Daley.

"He was a terrific police officer and terrific human being who cared about children, the police officers he trained," said Supt. Jody Weis, Chicago Police Department.

The honored star case represents 479 brave men and women who answered the call and gave their lives in the line of duty. Soderberg's colleagues believe his star belongs there.

Officer Walter Metcalf worked with Soderberg at the police academy training recruits.

"Very important tribute because of who he was and the kind of man he was. And not even necessarily as a police officer but as a person," said Metcalf.

Star 14767 is now in its permanent resting place. A number of mementos, family pictures and personal items, were also on display at police headquarters, paying tribute to the fallen officer.

The family has set up a foundation in his name that helps inner city children.

Last week, another officer, Thomas Wortham, had his star retired in a similar ceremony.