SPRINGFIELD – On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent today announced the Illinois State Police Officers of the Year, as well as the Telecommunicator and Forensic Scientist of the Year award winners. During this year’s annual awards ceremony held in Springfield, Trooper Brian K. Ingram of District 10, Pesotum, and Special Agent David T. Bivens of Zone 6, Collinsville, were named Officers of the Year. Mr. David C. Melvin of District 6, Pontiac, was named Telecommunicator of the Year. Mr. Brian T. Trost of the Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory was presented with the Forensic Scientist of the Year Award.
“As we recognize these individuals today, we keep in mind all of those who work diligently to protect and serve us on a daily basis,” said Director Trent. “We are truly honored and grateful to these individuals for their unselfish actions which ultimately provide a better quality of life for all of us.”
Officer of the Year recipient Special Agent David Bivens has proven to be a successful homicide investigator as a member of the Metro-East Homicide Unit. Because of his ability, knowledge and positive attitude, Special Agent Bivens is always assigned as a lead investigator when the unit is activated and routinely volunteers his assistance to fellow investigators. The Metro-East Homicide Unit has come to rely upon Special Agent Bivens to assist local departments with the review of problem cases because of his investigative ability, legal knowledge, and his proficiency to work with other agencies in a professional, courteous and respectful manner.
Officer of the Year Trooper Brian Ingram’s daily performance exemplifies the personal traits of dedication, initiative, integrity and service to his community. Trooper Ingram has distinguished himself not only as an effective Day Shift Patrol Officer, but also as an overall leader in District 10. His enforcement places him at, or near the top, of most monthly activity counts. Trooper Ingram’s knowledge of statutes and available resources enables him to utilize his high activity to the fullest extent to remove menacing drivers and dangerous criminals from our communities. He remains calm and collected in the face of adversity and is the “go-to” officer of choice in District 10 to handle complex calls for service. Trooper Ingram’s uniform, equipment and squad car are always maintained in exemplary condition and he is the logical choice for public appearances.
As a Chemist in the Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory Drug Chemistry Section, Forensic Scientist of the Year Brian Trost is recognized for his excellent work ethic and commitment to the community. Brian always maintains excellent working relations with the laboratory’s user agencies as well as his co-workers. He focuses on the fact that the laboratory is a service organization and is committed to providing the highest level of service to the law enforcement community. Brian’s dedication to his career is only eclipsed by his profound commitment to his family. He has been actively involved in fund-raising for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and participates in the Bike for a Cure ride in California annually. In addition to all of these responsibilities, Brian was able to complete his Master’s of Business Administration degree in 2006. He is a unique individual who inspires others around him and through his example encourages everyone to try harder and to make a difference.
Telecommunicator of the Year David Melvin, a 21-year employee, has provided excellent service to the Illinois State Police and is a strong leading force in the District 6 Communications Center. Melvin was resourceful in improving the efficiency of the District through the use of his personal computer’s scanner to streamline document handling and make department forms readily available on computer disc for the Troopers’ in-car computers. Melvin is a courteous and resourceful individual who deals kindly and professionally with both co-workers and members of the public.
Awards presented to ISP personnel during the ceremony include:
District 13 Troopers Paul Moak and Jay Wittenborn were awarded with the Department’s Medal of Valor after responding to a report of an individual shooting a firearm at a residence on December 23, 2004. After arriving at the scene, the subject began shooting at Trooper Moak as he exited his car, striking the driver’s door. As the subject continued shooting toward the officer, Moak crawled inside his squad car and began to scan the back yard with his spotlight. The shooter again shot in Trooper Moak’s direction, striking the squad car in the front driver’s side window while the officer was sitting in the front seat. Trooper Moak sought cover on the ground behind the passenger side of his squad car as several officers returned fire. While gunshots were being exchanged, Trooper Wittenborn was able to maneuver his way through a wooded area across the street from the suspect’s location. During the incident, the suspect went behind a garage, where he lay on the ground and began hollering at officers. Trooper Wittenborn was able to sneak up behind the suspect and take him into custody without further incident.
On August 17, 2006, District 20 Trooper Travis Dunlap responded to a call of an armed suicidal subject. Upon arrival, the officers encountered an emotionally upset and agitated individual with a loaded shotgun placed under his chin threatening suicide. After attempting to talk him into lowering the weapon, the subject was distracted with a phone call and Trooper Dunlap was able to grab the gun as the Deputy rushed the subject. Trooper Dunlap was awarded with the Department’s Medal of Honor for disarming and subduing the subject.
District 12 Master Sergeant David Mahon was awarded the Department’s Medal of Honor for disarming an armed suicidal individual. On September 8, 2007, Master Sergeant Mahon responded to a call of an intoxicated subject brandishing a shotgun. Utilizing his experience as a former Tactical Response Team member, he was able to establish a conversation with the subject who refused to surrender his weapon. After repeatedly ordering the subject to put down his weapon, Master Sergeant Mahon lunged at the subject, grabbing the gun as a Jasper County Deputy used a Taser to subdue the individual.
District Nine Sergeant Dennis Baird and Troopers Hugh Carlock, Stephen Coady, Steven Ent, John Griffin, and Robert Reiser were awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for their efforts to save the life of a motorcyclist on July 15, 2006. After responding to a motorcycle crash in which the driver was not breathing, had no pulse, and was bleeding heavily from the mouth area, the officers worked in unison to revive the victim by performing emergency medical techniques. Without the collective efforts of these officers, the driver would not have survived.
On October 29, 2006, District 13 Trooper James Bradley responded to a residence with other officers and discovered an individual hanging from a tree, unresponsive and barely conscious. Trooper Bradley and a West Frankfort officer grabbed the individual and lifted him up while another officer untied the strap. Trooper Bradley was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for saving the individual’s life.
District 17 Trooper Chad Broyles was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for saving the life of a diabetic individual. On November 3, 2006, Trooper Broyles responded to a call of a vehicle in the ditch. Upon his arrival, he began speaking with the driver who was unable to respond clearly. After assessing that the driver could possibly be a diabetic, she was able to nod and confirm that she was. Trooper Broyles administered a tube of glucose, but the driver became unresponsive to the treatment. Believing she was going to die if not transported to a hospital immediately, he met emergency medical personnel who transported her to the hospital for treatment.
District Chicago Troopers Donnie Conley and Timothy Tyler were awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for pulling a suicidal subject from jumping to his death. On January 1, 2006, Trooper Conley was dispatched to a report of a man attempting to jump off a bridge into the water below. As Trooper Conley engaged the subject in conversation, Trooper Tyler arrived on the scene. As the subject began to slide down the river’s wall, Trooper Conley grabbed the subject by the back of his shirt and Trooper Tyler grabbed his arm. Together, the Troopers pulled the subject over the wall and contained him until he could be transported to the hospital for an evaluation.
The Department’s Lifesaving Medal was awarded to District Chicago Trooper David Keltner for saving the life of a suicidal subject. After responding to a call in the area of I-55 and Michigan/State Street on March 13, 2006, Trooper Keltner located a male subject hanging from an overpass sign. He climbed the fence and was able to lean over and get the subject close enough to him to grab his arm. Trooper Keltner was able to get the man to climb back over the fence and to a safe location before being transported to a hospital for evaluation.
On August 14, 2006, District Chicago Trooper David Keltner responded to a call of a suicidal subject where he located a 32 year-old male subject sitting on the overpass wall, teetering over the avenue. As the agitated subject began shouting obscenities at the officer, he became more upset upon the arrival of the fire department and positioned his entire backside off of the wall, giving the appearance he was going to fall backward. As he maneuvered closer to the subject, Trooper Keltner dove toward the man and grabbed him by the left leg and pulled the suicidal man to safety. Trooper Keltner was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for his heroics.
District 13 Trooper Paul Moak was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for saving the life of a suicidal subject. On May 5, 2006, Trooper Moak responded to a report of a subject attempting to commit suicide by hanging himself. As he arrived at the residence, Trooper Moak observed an unconscious individual hanging by a rope from the living room ceiling. After cutting the rope from around the man’s neck and lowering him to the floor, Trooper Moak began performing CPR, reviving the subject.
District 18 Trooper Jeff Moore was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for rescuing a woman who had driven into water. On January 5, 2005, Trooper Moore was off-duty when a neighbor called and said a friend had just called in a panic saying she had driven into some water which was seeping into her car. Trooper Moore arrived at the area where he suspected the woman might have entered the water, and after calling for assistance, he was able to drive through the water in his 4 x 4 truck, reaching the other side of the bridge. Due to the fast rising flood, he walked through the water, reaching the driver and leading her to safety.
On December 9, 2006, District 13 Trooper Craig Odom was at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department when they received a 9-1-1 call regarding a drug overdose. Upon his arrival, he found an individual lying on the floor not breathing and began CPR until the victim began breathing on their own. Trooper Odom was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for his actions.
While traveling on a rural Christian County road on April 17, 2006, Zone 4 Special Agent David Shearer came upon a traffic crash. Upon approaching the accident scene, he observed a pickup lying on its top and a car on fire. After requesting assistance, he approached the car and found the female driver conscious and complaining of leg pain. With entry into the vehicle impossible from both front doors due to severe damage and intense heat, he was able to reach into the vehicle through the front window, cut the driver’s seatbelt, and remove her before the car became completely engulfed in flames. Special Agent Shearer was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Award for rescuing the female occupant.
District Chicago Trooper Christopher Stewart was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for resuscitating an individual. On April 5, 2006, while on patrol, he was flagged down by two females in a vehicle who told him their friend was having trouble breathing. Trooper Stewart, with the assistance of one of the friends, began performing CPR, resuscitating the victim.
District Chicago Sergeant Devin Stokes and Trooper Peter Radulovic were awarded with the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for rescuing a Chicago Police Department (CPD) officer from a burning vehicle. On May 7, 2006, the Officers responded to a dispatch of a CPD squad car following a vehicle whose driver was wanted for unlawful use of a weapon. After a few minutes, the dispatch was cancelled. A short time later, Trooper Radulovic came upon an unmarked CPD squad car pinned against a light pole with the car’s front end fully engulfed in flames, making it difficult to see inside. Trooper Radulovic observed a subject in the passenger area of the squad car waving an automatic handgun and heard two shots being fired. After verifying that the individual firing the gun was a CPD tactical officer and not the offender wanted earlier, he attempted to extinguish the fire and gain entry to the vehicle to free the officers. All of the doors were damaged and would not open and the driver was pinned under the collapsed dashboard. Sergeant Devin Stokes arrived and assisted with rescue efforts. After breaking the right rear window, Sergeant Stokes and Trooper Radulovic were able to pull one of the occupants out through the window. The front seat passenger was able to free himself and exit the squad car.
On December 12, 2006, District 12 Trooper Ronald Will responded to a call of a parent requesting assistance with an unresponsive child. When he arrived, he found the parents with their two year-old son suffering from a seizure and not breathing. Trooper Will began ventilating the child and was able to revive him twice before the child was taken to the hospital. Trooper Will was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for his actions.
District 7 Trooper Jason Wilson was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal for his rescue efforts on September 21, 2006. After attempting to set his wife’s residence on fire and stabbing one of its occupants, a subject fled the scene. As officers responded to the suspect’s rural address, they observed his vehicle parked in the yard. Meanwhile, Trooper Wilson and another officer heard a vehicle engine and child’s voice coming from inside a nearby machine shed, where they observed a small child in the passenger area of a pickup truck. Officers quickly entered the shed and disconnected a hose that had been connected from the exhaust into truck. The two-year-old child was safely removed from the vehicle and taken to the hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning. The subject was air-lifted for severe burns.
Other Officer of the Year nominees include:
Division of Operations
Trooper Troy M. Layne; District 1
Trooper Derek M. Cowan; District 2
Trooper Timothy T. Tyler; District Chicago
Trooper Eric A. Scott; District 5
Trooper Clint M. Thulen; District 7
Trooper Gregory D. Bowers; District 8
Trooper Steven M. Ent; District 9
Trooper Brian K. Ingram; District 10
Trooper David E. Filkins; District 11
Trooper Mark R. Flack; District 12
Sergeant John L. Hafford; District 13
Trooper Joseph W. Hutchins; District 14
Trooper Tommie E. King; District 15
Trooper Brent C. Massingill; District 16
Trooper Michael A. Ketter; District 17
Trooper Juan T. Lingow; District 18
Trooper Jeffrey A. Knight; District 19
Sergeant Jeffrey L. Schisler; District 20
Trooper Steven M. Sigler; District 21
Trooper Michael S. Alvey; District 22
Special Agent Robert A. Hunt; Zone 1
Sergeant Jerome E. Costliow; Zone 2
Trooper Jason L. Holt; Zone 3
Special Agent Phillip E.Trompeter; Zone 4
Special Agent Daniel D. Hill; Zone 5
Special Agent Hector I. Robert; Zone 7
Sergeant Paul “Bill” W. Markun; Director’s Office
Sergeant Michael J. Oyer; Division of Forensic Services
Sergeant Michael J. Witt; Division of Internal Investigation
Trooper Timothy M. Good; Operational Services Command
Other Telecommunicator of the Year nominees include:
Ms. Connie S. Grenoble; District 1
Mr. Dennis C. Lee; District 2
Ms. Christine D. Asuega; District Chicago
Ms. Joan R. Schackman; District 5
Ms. Heather A. Pierson; District 7
Ms. Kathy J. Yentes; District 8
Ms. Laura A. Moore; Springfield Communications Center
Mr. Kenneth R. Williams; District 10
Ms. Eleanor F. Nyman; District 11
Ms. Heather M. Cloe; District 12
Ms. Jamie L. Moak; District 13
Ms. Roxilee Vawter; District 14
Ms. Michelle Vickers; District 15
Mr. Michael J. Reittinger; District 16
Ms. Kathryn L. Brewer; District 17
Ms. Arleen M. Simmons; District 19
Ms. Emily C. Dell; District 20
Ms. Patricia J. LaGesse; District 21
Ms. Sharon L. Moore; District 22
Other Forensic Scientist of the Year nominees include:
Mr. Richard W. Amberger; Metro-East Forensic Science Laboratory
Ms. Cynthia M. Cale; Rockford Forensic Science Laboratory
Mr. Gary L. Havey; Springfield Forensic Science Laboratory
Ms. Melissa M. McCann; Forensic Science Center at Chicago
Ms. Linda F. Yborra; Morton Forensic Science Laboratory