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updated: 2/2/2014 5:37 PM

North Aurora honors top cop for compassion, diligence

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It wasn't chasing down a robbery suspect on foot or solving a decades-old murder case that earned Officer John "Jake" Kerlin the 2013 Officer of the Year Award for the North Aurora Police Department.

Rather, it was kind, compassionate attention to an elderly woman in need, and diligence after responding to a public dumping complaint.

Kerlin, a 13-year veteran, was honored last week with the department's top award.

In November, Kerlin went on a well-being check and discovered a woman with no electricity due to a billing mishap.

She lived alone with no family in the area, so Kerlin put her up in a hotel with his own money until the problem was fixed the next day.

She also had no working phone, so Kerlin bought her one and contacted a HVAC company to fix her furnace.

Kerlin also nabbed a suspect in an illegal dumping complaint at a public storage facility in December.

Officer David Parr also was nominated for the award, which has been given in 2005.

Parr, a 16-year veteran, has been part of the department's fleet management team since 2011 and supervises routine maintenance for the squad cars and deciding what equipment to buy for new squads.

St. Charles Police Academy: The St. Charles Police Department is accepting applications to its annual Citizen Police Academy, which runs March 18 to May 15.

The academy meets from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for nine weeks in the training room at the department, 211 N. Riverside Drive.

Participants get to meet officers, learn what daily life is like for them and take classes on a variety of topics.

Applications are available at the department's front lobby or at under "Crime Prevention." The class is free for residents, people who work in the city or city property owners. The last day to apply is March 4.

Elgin man gets prison for sex abuse: A 25-year-old Elgin man recently was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a girl younger than 18 in July and August 2012.

Erick Lopez, of the 600 block of Watch Street, pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse in December 2013 and was sentenced last month by Judge John Barsanti.

Lopez also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Ask A Lawyer: The Kane County Bar Association will host its monthly "Ask A Lawyer Day" 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Call (630) 762-1900 for a free consultation with a volunteer attorney about a variety of subjects. Don't leave a voice mail because attorneys cannot access it.

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