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updated: 3/18/2014 10:16 AM

Recovering Arlington Heights cop named 'Officer of the Year'

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Arlington Heights police officer Michael McEvoy, shot in the face while responding to a domestic dispute late last year, will be honored Thursday with the L.W. Calderwood Officer of the Year award.

McEvoy, who officials say is a private person, has avoided interviews since the shooting but will make a few short comments Thursday.

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"We're just looking forward to seeing him," Police Chief Gerald Mourning said. "I know his co-workers are anxious and excited to see him also."

McEvoy, 52, was the first police officer to respond to 911 calls made Dec. 12, after Eric M. Anderson, 41, of Niles tracked his ex-girlfriend to her mother's Arlington Heights townhouse and threatened people in the home with a gun, authorities said. When McEvoy entered the house, Anderson shot him in the face.

Fellow officers were able to drag McEvoy to safety. A firefighter, who was visiting family nearby, likely saved his life, police said.

Those colleagues -- officers Kevin Sullivan, Michael Turano and Douglas Glanz -- as well as Acting Fire Chief Ken Koeppen, also will be honored Thursday for their heroism.

As McEvoy was being treated outside the house, a lengthy standoff developed inside the home, where Anderson had taken his ex-girlfriend hostage.

The standoff ended when Anderson exited the home through the garage and pointed his gun at officers, who fatally shot him.

McEvoy, who has been with the Arlington Heights Police Department for more than 20 years, was put into a medically induced coma for several days and underwent multiple surgeries, but police said his injuries could have been much worse. McEvoy was released from the hospital in late December and is working toward a full recovery.

"He has good days and bad days," said Mourning, who met with McEvoy last week. "His mental outlook is very good, and he is improving."

Mourning said McEvoy told him he plans to return to the force within the next year.

The Arlington Heights Rotary Club bestows the L.W. Calderwood Award annually on a member of the police department who has made significant contributions to the community. The award is named for a former police chief.

"He (McEvoy) has done a lot for the department outside of this critical incident and deserves to be recognized," Mourning said.

Thursday's ceremony is hosted by the Arlington Heights Police Department and the Rotary Club, and is not open to the general public.

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