SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent today announced Illinois State Police Officer, Telecommunicator, and Forensic Scientist of the Year award winners. During the Department's annual awards ceremony held in Springfield, Trooper Clint Thulen of District 7, East Moline, was named Officer of the Year; Mr. Martin Bourgeois of District 6, Pontiac, was named Telecommunicator of the Year; and Dr. Taylor Scott of the Springfield Forensic Science Center was presented with the Forensic Scientist of the Year Award.
"The men and women of the Illinois State Police are to be praised for their dedication to protecting the citizens of this state," said Governor Blagojevich. "Their hard work and commitment to duty is leading to a safer Illinois. They’ve helped to reduce fatalities on our highways and raise the seat belt and sex offender registry compliance rate."
Officer of the Year recipient Trooper Clint Thulen's criminal interdiction work in District 7 continued to set new records during 2004. With a total of 12 major interdiction seizures during the year, he demonstrated his abilities to have a direct impact on criminal activity on Illinois highways. When not on patrol, Trooper Thulen provides drug interdiction training for ISP personnel and local law enforcement officers and serves as a K-9 handler. His interaction with fellow officers, as well as a variety of county, state, and federal agencies, always reflects positively on the Illinois State Police. Trooper Thulen has a positive outlook and exemplifies the highest standards of the Illinois State Police.
During his 21 years with the Illinois State Police, Telecommunicator of the Year Martin Bourgeois has displayed the highest levels of professionalism, attitude, optimism, and loyalty. Mr. Bourgeois routinely displays extraordinary job knowledge and serves as a stellar mentor to new employees. During 2004, he was the sole teacher/mentor for the Pontiac Vocational students who would come to the radio room twice a week to observe and learn the radio operations. Whether dealing with the day-to-day operations of the District or mentoring a future radio operator, Marty consistently demonstrates the epitome of Integrity, Service and Pride. Over the course of his 18-year career with the ISP, Forensic Scientist of the Year Dr. Taylor Scott has been a valuable, dependable and dedicated employee and is well known in the forensic DNA community on a national level. During 2004, Dr. Scott played a significant role in the implementation of the Sample Tracking and Control System (StaCS) now established at the DNA Indexing Laboratory and also wrote several computerized programs to assist staff in their technical work. Dr. Scott performed all of this project with initiative, patience, and diligence, while maintaining his professional qualifications. His accomplishments over the last year exemplify his dedication to the ISP.
Awards presented to ISP personnel during the ceremony include:
- Division of Administration Lieutenant Colonel Craig Allen was awarded the Department's Lifesaving Medal for his efforts at a fatal accident in Wyoming while on a family vacation. Lieutenant Colonel Allen found the driver of a small motor home pinned inside the vehicle and the passenger, who had been killed, forced under the dash. With the propane tank leaking and the gas tank ruptured, Lieutenant Colonel Allen, with the assistance of passers-by, was able to safely free the driver.
- District 6 Trooper Tracy L. Atteberry was awarded the Lifesaving Medal for his heroic efforts after responding to a three-vehicle crash. The driver of one of the vehicles was severely injured and pinned in his car, which was lodged beneath a pick-up truck. After the truck caught fire, Trooper Atteberry, with the assistance of passing motorists, was able to remove the victim from his burning car.
- District 12 Troopers Ryan D. Shoemaker and Cory A. Ristvedt were awarded the Department's Medal for Honor for their actions during a lengthy standoff with an armed gunman at an automotive factory which was occupied by approximately 400 employees. The man had wanted to speak to his estranged wife, an employee at the factory. With the assistance of local law enforcement, the subject was shot with a bean bag projectile. After being hit, the man pointed the barrel of the gun at his face/head. He was then struck again with a bean bag after which officers advanced on the subject, forcing him to the ground and recovering the weapon.
- District 15 Trooper Eric S. Caho was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for an incident which occurred on December 29, 2003, while he was on patrol. After observing a minivan stopped in traffic, he approached the vehicle and found the driver unconscious. After calling for an ambulance, Trooper Caho began performing CPR and administered a shock with an AED. Due to Trooper Caho's quick actions, the driver began to breath on his own.
- District 15 Master Sergeant Paul M. Carlos III was awarded the Department's Lifesaving Medal for his actions at an annual district banquet. During the meal, Master Sergeant Carlos observed a retired officer choking and not receiving any oxygen. Carlos positioned himself behind the choking victim and delivered three abdominal thrusts, with the third thrust dislodging a piece of steak, enabling the retired officer to breath.
- District 12 Trooper David W. Finson was awarded the Department's Lifesaving Medal for an incident which occurred on February 23, 2004. After being dispatched to the scene of a personal injury accident, he found the passenger with a heartbeat but not breathing. Trooper Finson began artificial resuscitation until the victim was able to start breathing again. Due to Trooper Finson’s actions, the passenger survived.
- On August 7, 2004, District 16 Trooper William A. Kearney was conducting a traffic stop when a severe traffic crash occurred near his location. A motorcycle had collided with a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer. After calling for assistance and until EMTs arrived, Trooper Kearney began providing medical assistance to the motorcyclist whose leg was partially severed and barely attached to his body. Trooper Kearney was awarded the Department's Lifesaving Medal for his quick response which resulted in saving the life of the victim.
- District 22 Trooper Stephen "Brian" Lawrence was awarded the Department's Lifesaving Medal for responding to a single vehicle crash on March 23, 2004. The vehicle had overturned several times and slid down an embankment, coming to rest on its side. During these events, the driver had slipped out of his seatbelt and was laying facedown in mud and was completely unresponsive. Trooper Lawrence was able to crawl through the back of the vehicle and reestablish the driver's airway and stayed with him for approximately one hour to protect the unconscious driver from the extrication process and to continue medical attention. The driver was expected to make a full recovery from extensive fractures and head trauma injuries.
- Mr. Greg Maus of the Information Technology Command was awarded the Department's Lifesaving Medal for an incident which occurred on October 22, 2003. While shopping at a grocery store, Mr. Maus heard a loud noise and then observed an elderly gentleman collapsed on the floor. After determining the man was not breathing and did not have a pulse, he called 9-1-1 and began performing CPR until the paramedics arrived. Due to Mr. Maus' quick actions, the victim was revived.
- The Lifesaving Medal was awarded to District 21 Trooper Walter R. Whitehill for his actions on January 24, 2004. While off-duty and having lunch at a local restaurant, he observed a female patron begin choking. After identifying himself as a police officer, he performed an abdominal thrust on the victim, dislodging the obstruction.
- The Achievement Medal was awarded to Mr. Robert Reneau of the Division of Forensic Services for a recent published paper in the Journal of Forensic Identification. The paper has changed the way latent prints are identified and how latent print examiners will testify in court. Through his publication, Mr. Reneau has generated positive, worldwide feedback in the latent print community and for the Illinois State Police. Due to his efforts, previously unidentifiable prints are now linked to offenders, removing those individuals from our communities.
- The Medal for Valor and Purple Heart Medal were awarded to District 21 Trooper Kurt C. Quick for an incident which occurred on June 18, 2004. Unknown to Trooper Quick, he had pulled over a stolen vehicle occupied by a mentally ill and suicidal subject in possession of a .45-caliber handgun. As Trooper Quick approached the vehicle, the driver shot at the officer, striking him in his right hand. After retreating for cover, Trooper Quick was able to return fire using his service pistol with his left hand. As he moved from his squad car to a nearby field, he observed the subject at the rear of his vehicle with his pistol pointed in the officer's direction. Trooper Quick again returned fire while running for cover when he observed the driver still pointing the pistol at him. Again, Trooper Quick fired at the driver who returned to his vehicle and drove away. The subject was later located dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Other Officer of the Year nominees include:
- Division of Operations Sergeant John K. Clark; District 1
- Master Sergeant Joseph M. Perez; District 2
- Trooper Jason C. Lococo; District Chicago
- Trooper Jeanette K. Beck; District 5
- Sergeant Jeff E. Gaither; District 6
- Trooper Jason E. Springer; District 8
- Trooper Rickey A. Price; District 9
- Trooper Brian K. Ingram; District 10
- Trooper Kristopher M. Gebke;District 11
- Sergeant Kelley B. Hulsey; District 12
- Trooper Paul W. Moak; District 13
- Trooper Jason W. Elswick; District 14
- Trooper Matthew F. Hodgdon; District 15
- Trooper Carl A. Heintz; District 16
- Sergeant Rolando A. Matos; District 17
- Trooper Jeremy Walk; District 18
- Trooper Michael D. Ahrens; District 19
- Trooper Thomas P. Mavity; District 20
- Trooper Timothy R. Davis; District 21
- Trooper Aaron P. Hoffman; District 22
- Special Agent Matthew J. Gainer; Zone 1
- Sergeant Mark G. Fritz; Zone 2
- Special Agent Wilfredo Rivera; Zone 3
- Special Agent Brian L. Gorsuch; Zone 4
- Special Agent Vidal I. Panizo; Zone 5
- Sergeant Donald E. Yann; Zone 6
- Trooper Richard D. White; Zone 7
- Special Agent Mario M. Mollo; Operational Services Command
- Trooper Darrin E. Clark; Office of the Director
- Sergeant Francisco Carrera; Division of Forensic Services
- Special Agent Anthony L. McClure; Division of Internal Investigation
Other Telecommunicator of the Year nominees include:
- Nikki E. Osborne; District 1
- Michele M. Roediger; District 2
- Robin S. Thorpe; District Chicago
- Mark W. Nealand; District 5
- Jennifer L. Dixon; District 7
- Pamela K. McGarr; District 8
- Betty G. Monk; Springfield Communications Center
- Kenneth R. Williams; District 10
- Daniel W. Niemeyer; District 11
- Lisa A. Martz; District 12
- Tammy S. Hutchinson; District 13
- Denise L. Fryrear; District 14
- Mark Dorneden; District 15
- Dana M. Dillard; District 16
- Mark E. Morscheiser; District 17
- Cher N. Thomas; District 19
- Sarah J. Barker; District 20
- Patricia J. LaGesse; District 21
- Rhonda L. Baker; District 22
Other Forensic Scientist of the Year nominees include:
- Kimberly S. Bradley; Springfield Forensic Science Laboratory
- Charles B. Holm; Morton Forensic Science Laboratory
- Karen K. Kooi; Forensic Science Center at Chicago
- Michael R. Norbut; Southern Illinois Forensic Science Centre
- Donna R. Rees; Metro-East Laboratory
- Francis P. Senese; Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory
- Cynthia J. Torrisi; Rockford Forensic Science Laboratory