SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Five up-and-coming leaders in various fields of law enforcement are being honored by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) as the first Rising Shields of Law Enforcement(SM) for their leadership in advancing the field.
"This group represents the most progressive law enforcement leaders in Illinois under the age of 45," said Chief R.T. Finney, ILACP president and retired chief of the Champaign Police Department, in announcing the honorees. They represent large, small and medium sized local police departments, State agencies, and universities and colleges. The first annual awards will be presented June 9 at the ILACP Summer Training Conference and Installation Dinner at the Riverstone Conference Center in Kankakee.
Chosen from among 22 professionals nominated by Chiefs of Police statewide are Sgt. Nathan Hayes, Arlington Heights Police Department, Large Agency category; Detective Sgt. Martin Grill, River Forest Police Department, Medium Agency; Officer Elliot Rose, Campton Hills Police Department, Small Agency; Lt. Matthew Davis, Illinois State Police, State Agency; and Dr. Laura Kunard, Director of the University of Illinois Center for Public Safety and Justice, University category.
Commander Richard Gauselin of the Arlington Heights Police Department nominated Sgt. Hayes for leading by example "in doing what is right for our organization, whether his decision is popular or not." Gauselin also cited Hayes for using "the tenets of community policing to vastly improve the quality of life for residents" in a high crime and gang-infested area.
Detective Sgt. Grill, who was an officer with a university system and a railroad before joining the River Forest Police Department, was selected for his commitment to showing that small agencies can have the same impact locally and regionally as larger departments. He developed a crime control strategy targeting "high-volume repeat offenders" that reduced crime rates without increased cost to the department, and helped shut down major heroin pipelines to suburban residents traveling to Chicago to buy the drug daily. "I didn't earn this award by myself," Grill explained. "If you surround yourself with good people, you are able to do good things."
Officer Rosereflects this same humble approach to his work. "Day in and day out, people here do amazing things without expecting to be recognized," he said of his fellow officers at the Campton Hills Police Department. Among the areas where Rose has taken the lead is in developing community programs that promote positive interaction between law enforcement and residents, as opposed to waiting for them to be exposed to officers only in times of crisis.
As Commander of the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services Command, Lt. Matthew Davis, who was promoted April 16 from Master Sergeant, was instrumental in the creation and development of the new CSI Law Enforcement Unit Evidence System (CLUES), which streamlined workflow and increased efficiency and accountability within the unit. Davis said that the Rising Shields awards are "a step in the right direction in raising the bar in the profession. I hope that others' shields rise past mine, and we can challenge each other."
In the little-recognized area of university and college security, Dr. Laura Kunard not only works closely with her local community to ensure the effectiveness of safety initiatives, she has been instrumental in training law enforcement officers, both in Illinois and as part of two Federal Department of Justice Regional Policing Institute teams. "She believes strongly in the nobility of the profession," said Chief Frank Kaminski of the Park Ridge Police Department, who nominated her for the award.
The Rising Shields of Law Enforcement awards encourage outstanding leaders below the Deputy Chief or Lieutenant levels in the various fields of law enforcement to continue to grow in the profession. "Collaborating with the honorees will also help us understand and meet the needs of law enforcement's next generation," Chief Finney noted. He added that he hopes that by learning about the many contributions of both sworn officers and others who work in law enforcement, communities will better understand the significant role they play in keeping their communities safe.