Mount Prospect investigator earns second consecutive Officer of the Year honor

 
Updated 5/23/2019 4:27 PM
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  • Mount Prospect police Investigator William Ryan, left, received his second consecutive Officer of the Year Award on Tuesday from Chief John Koziol.

      Mount Prospect police Investigator William Ryan, left, received his second consecutive Officer of the Year Award on Tuesday from Chief John Koziol. Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

Mount Prospect police Investigator William Ryan added to his laurels this week, receiving his second consecutive Officer of the Year award at Tuesday's village board meeting.

Chief John Koziol said Ryan played an important role in several investigations over the past year, including the slaying of an Arlington Heights man found shot to death Feb. 16, 2018, in a burning Jeep.

"Without hesitation, Bill took the lead on this incredibly intricate murder investigation, which included many moving parts and numerous personnel from multiple agencies," Koziol said.

The investigation led to the arrest of Mount Prospect resident Paul A. Zalewski on first-degree murder and other charges.

For his efforts, Ryan also received the Illinois Homicide Investigators Association award of excellence for 2018.

In another case, Ryan's work helped lead to an arrest and conviction of a man who set fire to a village apartment building because he was angry with a former girlfriend.

In addition to Ryan, the village honored three runners-up -- Investigator Eric Knippel, Investigator Bartek Giera and Officer Erik Draffone.

Koziol said Draffone's work included a pair of significant drug arrests.

"Erik is one of our midnight officers, and the citizens of Mount Prospect should sleep soundly knowing he and others are aggressively patrolling our community through the night," Koziol said.

Knippel distinguished himself in March and July for his work in DUI enforcement, receiving certificates of appreciation from the Alliance Against Drunk Motorists. Koziol said.

Giera assisted in the Zalewski case, reviewing hours of surveillance video from local businesses that placed the suspect with victim Vladimir Esquivel before the killing, according to Koziol.

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