Elgin police memorial remembers fallen officers
The annual police memorial ceremony in Elgin gave respect and gratitude Wednesday for all those who serve in law enforcement, particularly those who paid for their service with their lives.
"This is a day to remember and honor those officers have gone before us, but also to recognize those who serve today," Police Chief Ana Lalley said.
So far this year, 42 officers were killed in the line of duty in the United States, four of them in Illinois, the most of any state, according to the online "Officer Down Memorial Page."
That includes three state troopers: Christopher Lambert, of Highland Park, who was on his way home in January and was killed while responding to a crash on I-94; Brooke Jones-Story, of rural Stockton, who was struck by a semitrailer truck in March while she was inspecting another truck near Freeport; and Gerald "Jerry" Ellis, of Antioch, killed in March when his squad car was struck by a wrong-way driver on I-94.
McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Keltner was fatally shot in March while trying to serve an arrest warrant as part of a U.S. Marshals team.
Last year, there were 163 line-of-duty deaths across the country, including four Chicago police officers -- two struck by gunfire, two killed by a train while chasing an armed man -- and 28 police service dogs.
The ceremony in Elgin was attended by about 60 people and featured a color guard, the national anthem sung by Nicki Luciano of New Life Covenant Church, and an invocation and benediction by police chaplain Al Keating.
Police "play a vital role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms" of people, Lalley said.
"We are here today to take a few moments to remember and remind ourselves that as law enforcement officers we have chosen to live in the uncertainty for the greater good of our community and the amazing citizens we have chosen to serve and protect."
State lawmakers on Tuesday filed a proposal to increase penalties for drivers who don't slow or change lanes to avoid vehicles on the side of the road, known as the "Move Over" law or "Scott's Law." The minimum fine for a first violation would increase from $100 to $250 and subsequent violations would carry a minimum fine of $750. Violators also would be charged an additional $250 fee to fund education about and enforcement of the law.