It was a bittersweet occasion Thursday at the Kane County Sheriff's Officer as three women were honored with the Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year award.
Sheriff Pat Perez established the award, the office's the highest civilian honor, in memory of Ebey, an 83-year-old World War II veteran who was killed during a spring 2007 home invasion in Aurora Township.
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Lorraine Stahl and Christine Propheter, who started a Neighborhood Watch in the Mill Creek Subdivision near Geneva, and Lea Minalga, a St. Charles woman and substance abuse counselor who started Hearts of Hope to help families affected by heroin addiction, received the award this year.
Minalga offered her condolences to Ebey's son, Richard, when she accepted the award.
Perez, who is stepping down next year after his term expires, said he still has one more Roscoe Ebey award to present in late 2014.
"Next year will be my last year," said Perez, who noted that everyone in his office was affected by Ebey's murder. "I'm sure whoever steps into the role of sheriff will continue this because how could you not? That's not just my wishes. It's the wishes of the Ebey family and their children."
Leslie Fleming, who was Ebey's neighbor that apprehended Ebey's killer at the scene, was honored with the inaugural award in 2007.
Ebey's killer was Hector Mauricio, a 27-year-old former Aurora man. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
What's in a name: The Kane County State's Attorney's Office recently changed the name of its second chance program for first-time, nonviolent felony offenders to the Deferred Prosecution Program.
The current program is working just fine, but officials wanted to avoid any possible confusion with the General Assembly, which recently passed a Second Chance Probation program for first-time offenders that will take effect Jan. 1.
Aurora police go mobile: The Aurora Police Department recently unveiled My PD, a free mobile app for iPhone and Android smartphones.
The app, police say, will allow users to communicate with police administrators, ask questions, praise officers, obtain area sex offender information, and more.
Lt. Rick Robertson of the Intelligence Division said one of the app's greatest advantages is the ability for users to text crime-related tips to police.
"With the app, the citizens we serve have the ability to give us information about criminal activity and they can choose to either do so anonymously or submit their contact information in the event they want to talk to us in person," he said.