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TWO FALLEN OFFICERS, DOZENS OF OTHERS TO BE HONORED

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 — Nearly 100 police officers from across Cook County will be recognized at a Wednesday morning ceremony for their heroic efforts and going above and beyond the call of duty.

Sheriff Thomas J. Dart will present 32 Awards of Valor and 56 Awards of Merit at the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony. The event takes place at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.

The awards were created as a way to honor the extraordinary efforts put in by so many police officers every single day. This year will also include special recognition for two police officers who lost their lives while keeping our families and neighborhoods safe.

Chicago Police Officers Nathaniel Taylor and Alex Valadez will be recognized posthumously for their bravery and courage. Taylor, 39, was a narcotics officer killed Sept. 28, 2008 while serving a search warrant at a southwest side drug house. Valadez, 27, was killed in July while he investigated reports of shots fired in Englewood and someone drove up and fired shots at him.

Also set to be recognized are five Cook County Sheriff’s officers who investigated a child sex trafficking operation that resulted in the arrest of a Midlothian woman who was arranging for young relatives to be used for child pornography. Detective Anthony Stack, Deputy Tiffany Ruffoni and Investigators Lissette Rivera, Helen Siaj and Daniel Keserich will be honored for work that led to a life imprisonment term for that woman.

Dart will also honor Skokie Police Officer Timothy Gramins, who spotted a car matching the description of a bank robber. Gramins gave chase and wound up in a shoot-out with the suspect on a residential street. The suspect fired 22 rounds at Gramins, who scrambled for cover and ultimately shot and killed the suspect.

Dart will recognize officers from Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Berwyn, Brookfield, Buffalo Grove, Calumet City, Chicago, Crestwood, East Hazel Crest, Forest park, Hanover Park, Hodgkins, Homewood, Justice, Lemont, Markham, Matteson, Maywood, McCook, Mt. Prospect, Niles, North Riverside, Oak Lawn, Orland Hills, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Park Forest, Park Ridge, Phoenix, Richton Park, Riverside, Skokie, Western Springs and Wilmette.

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