Elgin firefighter, police officer earn American Legion awards

Updated 5/3/2015 5:24 PM

Two veteran first responders were recently honored by Elgin's American Legion Post 57 for saving lives and catching bad guys.

Christopher Kennedy, a nine-year veteran of the Elgin Fire Department, was named the Legion's Firefighter of the Year.

Randy Fries, a 10-year veteran of the Elgin Police Department, was named the Legion's Police Officer of the Year.

The legion's yearly awards go to an officer and firefighter who exceed their normal duties and show a pattern of community service and professional development.

Kennedy was credited with reviewing reports of cardiac arrest victims to determine what additional training department personnel needed. He trained his colleagues, helping increase the number of patients who regained a pulse.

He received the honor because of the "immediate positive impact his contribution had made not only to the department, but to the citizens of Elgin," Elgin Assistant Fire Chief David Schmidt said.

Fries, a senior patrolman, participated in several high-profile cases, using unconventional methods to locate suspects. He also oversees registration and compliance checks for violent offenders on parole.

"Fries leads by example through his strong work ethic and is a driving force in the productivity of the unit," said Elgin police Sgt. Jim Lalley. "His nonstop work style leads and inspires those who work with him."

Second chance in drug offense

A 40-year-old man arrested in October 2013 on charges he was part of an illegal prescription drug scheme has entered a pretrial diversion program.

Robert Shilling-Bagley, formerly of Elgin and now of Burlington, recently entered the one-year program in which a defendant may have the charges dismissed upon completion of counseling, community service and other measures, along with random drug tests.

Bagley faces anywhere from probation to three years in prison on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of blank prescription forms, both felonies.

Trial set in cremation lawsuit

A Dec. 12 trial date has been set in a lawsuit filed by a trucker who says his wife was cremated without his knowledge or consent.

Timothy Cahill filed the lawsuit in 2011, seeking unspecified damages from the Laird Funeral Home in Elgin and the Twin Pines Crematorium in East Dundee.

Cahill argues he was in Davenport, Iowa, when his wife, Helen, was struck by a car and killed in fall 2010. Her body was cremated instead of buried next to her mother in Tennessee.

Attorneys for Cahill and Laird did not return phone messages seeking comment.


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