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updated: 1/27/2013 4:50 PM

More kudos for North Aurora police officer

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Congratulations to Mark Shillair, who was named the North Aurora Police Officer of the Year for 2012 by the village's Lion's Club.

Shillair is credited with the Aug. 4 rescue of a 33-year-old man who threatened to jump off an overpass and into oncoming traffic on I-88 after a domestic dispute.

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"Get your camera ready because I'm going to jump off the bridge," North Aurora police quoted the man as saying after Shillair found him standing on the Randall Road overpass.

After the man climbed on top of the bridge sidewall facing the tollway, Shillair got out of this squad car and was able to pull him off the wall and onto the ground despite the man being taller and nearly double Shillair's weight.

"Officer Shillair's actions are commendable. As a police officer, you never know when a crisis will occur. In order to prevent a person from causing harm to himself, he put his life in jeopardy," North Aurora Police Chief David Summer said on the village's website. "I'm extremely proud of Office Shillair and find him worthy of this recognition."

Neither Shillair, a seven-year department veteran, nor the man were injured. The man later was taken to a hospital for a psychological examination. Shillair also was awarded the department's Livesaving Medal for his actions.

Officer John "Jake" Kerlin also was nominated for the award, which the Lions Club has presented each year since 2005.

Kerlin, a 12-year veteran, has taken the lead in the Police And Citizens Together program, also known as PACT, interacting with residents, hosting meetings, and supplying and decorating a "memorial tree" each holiday season that honors fallen officers.

The award ceremony was last week at the Gaslight Manor in Aurora.

New face on the bench:

Congratulations to Christine Downs, a former Kane County assistant state's attorney, for her appointment as an Associate Judge in Kane County.

Downs, who more recently worked as an associate at Collison and O'Connor in Chicago, will take the bench on Feb. 4. She's also worked as a special assistant state's attorney in Kane County, specializing in workers' compensation cases.

Downs, a Naperville North High School graduate who earned her law degree from Loyola University in May 1997, was selected from a field of 36 candidates. The Geneva resident is a member of the Kane County Bar Association, and served on the CASA Kane County Chairman's Advisory Panel and finance councils of Holy Cross Church in Batavia.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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