Officers 'under attack,' as CPD widow calls for unity between police force, community

CHICAGO (WLS) -- When Nora Flisk's husband went to work as a Chicago Police officer years ago, she said she "rarely worried," but now is entirely different with her son working on the police force.

"In today's environment, our police officers and police family seem to be under attack from all sides," said Nora. "There's a phenomenal amount of anxiety for all of us, not just for ourselves and our family members, but also for the common citizens of Chicago."

Flisk is the widow of Officer Michael Flisk, who was killed in the line of duty.

"We don't want to see anybody hurt," she said. "We don't want anyone to have the same experience we've experienced in our life. We certainly don't want our police officers to have that experience or their families."

Officer Flisk, 46, was killed in the line of duty on November 26, 2010. The evidence technician was processing the crime scene of a vehicle burglary when he and the vehicle's owner, Stephen Peters, were shot and killed in the South Chicago community.

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Flisk left behind his wife, three sons, and a daughter. The children, all grown now, range in age from 28 to 35. The youngest son, Brian Flisk, followed his father, becoming a Chicago Police officer.

Last summer, Brian Flisk, a one-year veteran at the time, responded when protesters tried to topple the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park. Someone threw a brick at him, and he was transported to Northwestern Medicine, the same hospital where his father died.

"This job is a calling for most officers. They have a desire to go out and serve and they want to protect," said Nora Flisk. "Unfortunately, in the environment, we're in today, that service comes with a huge price."

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The Flisk family experienced that price, yet Nora remains hopeful.

"We're all human and we need to come together," she said. "I think it's important that we all start working together again."

Nora said finding common ground, serving your community and basic respect are needed now.

"We have lost respect, not only for our police department and police officers, but for each other," she said.

Her own family has turned to service. Brian Flisk is a police officer; her oldest son, now 35, is a Chicago firefighter; her daughter, Peg Flisk, is a prosecutor with the Cook County State's Attorney's office; and her 31-year-old son is a stationary engineer downtown.

While the Flisks have faced challenges, they call Chicago home and hope to keep it that way.

"When we can live anywhere, we choose to stay and fight, and we want to stay," Nora said, "but it's getting harder and harder."
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