Six Round Lake Park police officers recently were recognized for their good work at a village board meeting.
Police Chief George Filenko said the awards were presented during a special ceremony that coincided with the swearing-in of three new officers.
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Officer Kevin MaGee received two Medal of Life Awards for separate incidents in 2013. In the one instance, MaGee was lauded for noticing a man slumped in a van along the side of the roadway, checking on him and summoning an ambulance after determining he was having a stroke.
In the second case, MaGee received the award for how he handled a call when he was directed to assist an ambulance call. He responded quickly to the scene and found the victim face down in a bathtub that was rapidly filling with water, according to Round Lake Park authorities.
MaGee immediately removed the victim from the tub. It later was determined the man had a stroke and MaGee prevented him from drowning.
Officers Waymon Vela and Dominick Izzo each received the Chief's Achievement Award. Vela was lauded for his work on National Night Out and Shop with a Cop, while still handling his assigned calls for service.
Izzo was credited for his high achievement while assigned to assist another police agency with a domestic battery disturbance involving a combative suicidal offender. Izzo approached the suspect in a safe manner, calmed him and single-handedly took him into custody without need for escalated force or injury risk.
Commanders Tony Colon and Hector Lepe, with Detective Jose Jacobo, received Exceptional Duty medals for their work on Operation Street Sweep from November 2011 to March 2014.
In conjunction with federal authorities, Operation Street Sweep has been focused on getting rid of gangs and illicit narcotics sales in Round Lake Park and surrounding towns.
"Their professionalism and dedication in these illicit narcotic enforcement investigations has resulted in over 200 arrests and the successful prosecution of illicit narcotics dealers, the seizure of illegal narcotics with street values exceeding $1 million, illegally possessed weapons, and the seizure/forfeiture of vehicles, money, and other assets associated with the sales of illicit narcotics," according to material presented at the Round Lake Park village board meeting.
Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim offered his congratulations to Filenko and his officers for their work on Operation Street Sweep.
"As you are keenly aware, street gangs and the violence and deadly drugs that they bring into our community are the number one threat to the people of Lake County. You have been on the front lines of this fight and are among a few departments that are leading the charge to fight this menace," Nerheim wrote to Round Lake Park police.