State’s annual police memorial ceremony

Eleven more names will be added to the police memorial on the Capitol’s southwest lawn, normally the site of the ceremony the first Thursday of every May. Rain moved the proceedings into the Illinois State Library. (Dave Dahl/WJBC)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – When the state held its annual police memorial ceremony Thursday, it was a constitutional officer with no connection to the deceased whose words moved the crowd to applause.

“While I will say thank you, and God bless you and keep you safe,” said comptroller Susana Mendoza, “rather than words, I think we as elected officials need to do more to stand up for our men and women in law enforcement; to speak up for our men and women in law enforcement.”

Illinois’ criminal justice legislation of the past few years has been criticized by superminority Republicans and many in the police community as being pro-criminal and anti-cop.

Eleven more names will be added to the police memorial on the Capitol’s southwest lawn, normally the site of the ceremony the first Thursday of every May. Rain moved the proceedings into the Illinois State Library.

The following Illinois police officers died in the line of duty and were honored Thursday:

Off. Joseph Cappello III, Melrose Park, April 24, 2020

Off. Gary Hibbs, Chicago Heights, March 12, 2021

Sr. Master Trp. Todd Hanneken, ISP, March 25, 2021

Lt. James Kouski, Jr., Hometown, April 3, 2021

Off. Allen Giacchetti, Cook Co., April 30, 2021

Off. Christopher Oberheim, Champaign, May 19, 2021

Off. Brian Pierce, Jr., Brooklyn, August 4, 2021

Off. Ella French, Chicago, August 7, 2021

Off. Tyler Timmins, Pontoon Beach, October 26, 2021

Dep. Sean Riley, Wayne Co., December 29, 2021

Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, Bradley, December 30, 2021

Dave Dahl can be reached at news@wjbc.com

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