North Aurora honors officer for saving man on bridge
Beacon-News Staff January 28, 2013 12:40PM
North Aurora Police Officer Mark Shillair was honored for saving the life of a man who was threatening to jump off an overpass onto Interstate 88.
North Aurora officers of the year
2005: Officer Dan Cyko
2006: Officer Chris Joswick
2007: Officer Mike Quinn
2008: Officer Kristen Lohrstorfer
2009: Sgt. Joseph DeLeo
2010: Officer Ryan Hooper
2011: Officer Ryan McKiness
2012: Officer Mark Shillair
Updated: March 1, 2013 7:38PM
NORTH AURORA — Officer Mark Shillair’s life-saving efforts have earned him the title of North Aurora Police Officer of the Year for 2012.
The North Aurora Lion’s Club presented Shillair with the honor this month. Police supervisors provide the nominations and the Lion’s Club chooses the winner of the award, which has been handed out since 2005.
The award was presented for Shillair’s actions on the evening of Aug. 4, 2012, when he was dispatched to a domestic disturbance at Randall Road and Ice Cream Drive. The caller reported that her 33-year-old son got out of her vehicle and would not get back in.
Shillair, the first to arrive on the scene, found the man walking on the Randall Road bridge over Interstate 88.
Shillair stopped his squad car and asked him what he was doing. The man responded, “get your camera ready because I’m going to jump off the bridge.” He then climbed on top of the bridge sidewall facing the tollway below.
Shillair jumped out of his car and pulled the man off of the wall and onto the ground before he could jump. Police noted that the man was taller and nearly double Shillair’s weight.
Neither the man nor Shillair were injured in the incident. The man was later taken to the hospital for a psychological evaluation.
“As a police officer, you never know when a crisis will occur. In order to prevent a person from causing harm to himself, he put his life in jeopardy. I’m extremely proud of Officer Shillair,” said Police Chief David Summer.
Shillair previously was awarded the Lifesaving Medal for his actions in the incident.
Shillair has been a member of the North Aurora Police Department for seven years and is currently assigned to the evening shift patrol.
Also nominated for the Officer of the Year Award was Officer John (Jake) Kerlin.
Kerlin was nominated for his role in leading the Police And Citizens Together (PACT) program.
Kerlin also began an effort to honor officers killed in the line of duty during the previous year by supplying and decorating a “memorial tree” each holiday season. The tree honors each fallen officer with a blue ribbon, photo, and information on how he or she was killed.
Officials said the memorial tree not only honors the fallen, but reminds officers to guard against complacency.