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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Illinois State Police Officials Present Highest Honors During Annual Awards Ceremony

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Press Release Date: July 31, 2013    || Archived October 3, 2014

Purple Heart Medal Awarded Posthumously in Honor of

 Trooper Kyle Deatherage

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Hiram Grau and other officials today recognized the countless, noble contributions made by sworn and civilian members of the Illinois State Police and other government agencies. 

The 36th Annual Awards Ceremony was held at Glenwood High School in Chatham, Illinois and paid tribute to the acts of heroism and professionalism displayed by all of those who were honored during the event.  Today’s ceremony was especially heartfelt in memory of Trooper Kyle Deatherage.  ISP Director Hiram Grau was joined by family members of fallen Trooper Deatherage, who was posthumously honored at the ceremony.  Each awardee was recognized for their exemplary service to the ISP and the citizens of Illinois.

“The men and women of the Illinois State Police and everyone who was recognized today are to be commended for their noble service and tireless dedication to public safety,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.  “It is because of their unselfish acts and commitment to serve this agency and their community – that sets them apart from the rest,” he added.

Among the award recipients were three individuals who received special recognition for exemplary service:  Special Agent Brion J. Hanley was named Officer of the Year, Debra J. Baggerly was named Telecommunicator of the Year, and Brian F. Parr was named the Forensic Scientist of the Year.

Officer of the Year, Special Agent Brion J. Hanley

Special Agent Brion Hanley joined the Illinois State Police in 1998.  Hanley is a fifteen year veteran of the Illinois State Police and currently serves as Deputy Director of the Illinois State Police Greater Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (GMAT). 

After graduating from the ISP Academy, Hanley was assigned to District 2 patrol where he was a member of the Special Enforcement Team (SET).  He also served as the District Juvenile Coordinator.  Hanley joined Zone 1 Investigations in 2005, where he was assigned to the General Criminal Unit.  Hanley has also served as a member of the McHenry County Major Case Investigative Team. 

Hanley’s reputation as a hands-on investigator is widely known and he has overseen numerous murder investigations during his eight year term with the ISP General Criminal Unit.  In 2012, the Illinois Homicide Investigators Association recognized Hanley for his cold case investigative work on the Maria Ridulph homicide investigation.  The Ridulph homicide occurred in 1957 and is believed to be the oldest homicide to be brought to trial resulting in a conviction.

Telecommunicator of the Year, Debra J. Baggerly

Debra (Jody) Baggerly is a 25-year veteran of the Illinois State Police and currently serves as a Telecommunicator in the Springfield Communications Center.  Knowledgeable, motivated, driven, cooperative, and loyal are just some of the many attributes that define Baggerly in her role as a telecommunications professional.  The emphasis Baggerly places on officer and public safety is immeasurable.  She acts quickly and confidently.  When faced with challenges, Baggerly remains calm, asks pertinent questions, and responds appropriately. Baggerly is a valued member of the Springfield communications team and has distinguished herself as dependable, productive, and a highly-regarded employee.  She has truly earned the respect of her peers and sworn officers. 

Forensic Scientist of the Year, Mr. Brian F. Parr

Brian Parr is a Forensic Scientist III in the Firearms/Toolmarks section at the Forensic Science Center at Chicago.  His integrity, pride, and leadership are demonstrated by his dedicated service to not only his laboratory and its user agencies, but to the section’s forensic discipline as well.  Within his discipline, Parr has continuously sought opportunities to improve the section’s documentation and workflow with minimal cost.  Parr is credited with identifying improvements in the use of electronic worksheets and repurposing other lab computers for use in the Firearms/Toolmarks section.  As the Chair of the statewide Firearms/Toolmarks Section Advisory Committee, Parr was instrumental in guiding the section toward the successful development and implementation of measurement uncertainty procedures.  He also led initial efforts in identifying analytical efficiencies to maximize available resources while enhancing quality service. 

As Chair of the Technical Procedure Manual Subcommittee of the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners, Parr has contributed to the advancement of forensic firearms examinations nationwide.  Parr’s countless contributions to science, the Illinois State Police, and the criminal justice system make him an invaluable asset to his profession.

Medal for Honor

The Medal for Honor is awarded to Illinois State Police personnel who perform a heroic act that, by its nature, results in saving a life, preventing a serious crime, or apprehending a person who committed a serious crime.  The eligible act, while of a lesser degree than that required for the Medal for Valor, must nevertheless have been accomplished with distinction.  This year’s recipients: 

  • Sergeant Henry C. Spight, District Chicago
  • Trooper Jacqueline Del Villar, District Chicago

Purple Heart

The Purple Heart Medal is presented to Illinois State Police personnel who, while in the performance of enforcement duties, are seriously injured or killed while encountering deadly force or “other actions” causing serious, life threatening injuries or death.  Receiving the Purple Heart this year is Trooper Kyle W. Deatherage.

On November 26, 2012, Trooper Kyle Deatherage returned to his first day back to duty after serving a voluntary detail to aid the area severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. While patrolling District 18 as a motorcycle officer, Trooper Deatherage conducted a traffic stop on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 55 near Litchfield when he was struck and killed by a truck tractor semi-trailer combination.  Trooper Deatherage had been a member of the Illinois State Police since 2009.

Lifesaving Medal

The Lifesaving Medal is awarded to Illinois State Police personnel who perform actions or who apply techniques that result in saving or sustaining a human life.  Honorees: 

  • Trooper Jason M. Bradley, District 15
  • Trooper Brian W. Dickmann, Special Operations Command
  • Trooper Charles R. Tolbert, Special Operations Command
  • Trooper Brian J. Lewis, District 17
  • Trooper Zachary O. Peters, District Chicago
  • Trooper Clinton E. Smith, Crime Services Command

Meritorious Service Medal

The Meritorious Service Medal is presented to Illinois State Police personnel who have made truly outstanding achievements contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department by consistently performing their duties with outstanding skill, diligence, productivity, judgment and responsibility.  These achievements must be beyond the requirements of the normal work assignment.  Honorees: 

  • Lieutenant Colonel Kimberly A. Cochran, Division of Administration
  • Lieutenant Colonel Joann D. Gumz, Division of Internal Investigation
  • Lieutenant Marcus Lucas (Retired)
  • Suzanne Bond, ISP Legal Office
  • Jessica Trame, ISP Firearms Services Bureau
  • Natalia M. Delgado, ISP Legal Office 

Director’s Award of Distinction

The Director’s Award of Distinction is presented to any individual, agency, or group outside the Illinois State Police who gave extraordinary support and assistance to accomplish the goals of the Department.  Honorees:  

  • James A. Casey, Lewiston, Maine
  • Paulo C. Da Silva, Dyersville, Iowa
  • Steve Sallerson, St. Claire County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Bernadette Schrempp, St. Claire County State’s Attorney’s Office

Department Commendation

Special Agent Jamie L. Brunnworth, Zone 6 (Award bestowed with Sallerson & Schrempp)

Officer of the Year Award

Officers nominated for the ISP Officer of the Year Award must display a combination of the following qualifications and characteristics: outstanding contribution in the area of assignment; valor in the line of duty; exceptional knowledge and ability to complete job functions; overall productivity; civic contributions; and professional appearance and demeanor.  Officer of the Year nominees:

Division of Administration

Trooper Kenneth D. Thomas, Logistics Bureau

Division of Forensic Services

Trooper Clinton E. Smith, Crime Scene Services Command

Division of Internal Investigation

Special Agent Joel J. Decatur, Northern Command                

Division of Operations

Operational Services Command

  • Special Agent Patrick J. McGreal, Medical Fraud Control Bureau    
  • Trooper Brian W. Dickmann, Special Operations Command 

Region I

  • Trooper Amanda M. Griffin, District 2
  • Trooper Timothy D. Mayerbock, District Chicago
  • Sergeant Matthew E. Swanson, District 15 
  • Special Agent Brion J. Hanley, Zone 1 

Region II

  • Trooper John I. Willis, District 1
  • Trooper Shelley K. Cox, District 5
  • Sergeant Jared W. Steen, District 7
  • Trooper Jeffrey J. Thew, District 16
  • Trooper Michael J. Kasprak, District 17
  • Trooper Justin F. Kokos, District 21
  • Special Agent Brian J. Masters, Zone 2             
  • Special Agent Christopher Koerner, Zone 3

Region III

  • Trooper Scott W. Ahrens, District 6
  • Trooper Ross A. Green, District 8
  • Trooper Kevin M. Howell, District 9
  • Trooper John T. Lillard, District 10
  • Trooper Danny L. Leezer, District 14 
  • Sergeant Troy A. Rupert, District 20 
  • Special Agent David B. Shearer, Zone 4                       
  • Special Agent Troy R. Davis, Zone 5 

Region IV

  • Trooper Zachary D. Heard, District 11
  • Trooper Travis W. Rinehart, District 12
  • Trooper James M. Wright, District 13 
  • Trooper Kyle W. Deatherage, District 18 
  • Trooper Paul A. Howard, District 19                    
  • Trooper Daniel Money, District 22
  • Special Agent Todd E. Goldasich, Zone 6                     
  • Special Agent Nicholas W. Dill, Zone 7

Telecommunicator of the Year Award

Telecommunicators nominated for the ISP Telecommunicator of the Year Award must display a combination of the following qualifications and characteristics:  outstanding contribution in the area of assignment; exceptional knowledge and ability to complete job functions; initiative to expand knowledge through attendance in college courses or seminars; civic contributions; and professional appearance and demeanor.  Telecommunicator of the Year nominees: 

  • Connie S. Grenoble, District 1      
  • Cynthia D. Pearson, District 2 
  • Michael S. Bunch, District Chicago 
  • Robin Thorpe, District 5 
  • Heather Nolan, District 6 
  • Heather A. Pierson, District 7 
  • Melissa Mullen, District 8 
  • Debra J. Baggerly, Springfield Communications Center
  • Mary Kay Welsh, District 10  
  • Pamela M. Stalcup, District 11  
  • Terri A. Ross, District 15  
  • Jennifer R. Lee, District 16
  • Mark E. Morscheiser, District 17  
  • Lora C. Furlong, District 18  
  • Roberta Clutz, District 21  

Forensic Scientist of the Year Award

Nominees for the ISP Forensic Scientist of the Year Award must display a combination of the following qualifications and characteristics:  superior performance of an individual regarding casework; superior job performance; actions which exceed every day operations; and extraordinary community service or exceptional community involvement.  Forensic Scientist of the Year nominees: 

  • Melody L. LeVault, Southern Illinois Forensic Science Centre                                 
  • Joshua B. Stern, Springfield Forensic Science Laboratory                            
  • Eileen M. Taylor, Morton Forensic Science Laboratory                                               
  • Brian F. Parr, Forensic Science Center at Chicago                                         
  • Nicole R. Fundell, Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory                                    
  • Heather May, Rockford Forensic Science Laboratory                        
  • Aaron M. Horn, Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory

This year’s award ceremony was narrated by Julie Staley, Director of the Staley Family Foundation and President of the Staley Museum.  Staley is a familiar face in the Springfield community and a former TV news anchor.


Illinois State Police 36th Annual Awards Ceremony Top Honorees

Trooper Kyle Deatherage Purple Heart Recipient

Trooper Kyle Deatherage
Purple Heart Recipient

Special Agent Brion Hanley Officer of the Year

Special Agent Brion Hanley
Officer of the Year

Debra Baggerly Telecommunicator of the Year

Debra (Jody) Baggerly
Telecommunicator of the Year


Brian Parr Forensic Scientist of the Year

Brian F. Parr
Forensic Scientist of the Year



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