SPRINGFIELD – In recognizing National Police Week 2023, State Representative Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) is honoring 79th District police officers. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week when that falls as National Police Week. It is a time to offer honor, remembrance, and peer support while allowing people to gather and pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
“Police officers put on their uniforms and badges each morning not knowing what dangers the day will bring, but they still go forth to serve our communities,” said Rep. Haas. “I’m honored to have such courageous police officers serving the 79th District and across Illinois. Let’s remember to back the badge and show our support, especially to the families of fallen officers, this Police Week and always.”
In 2023, Illinois lost two police officers who were killed by gunfire. Both were members of the Chicago Police Department. They are Police Officer Andres M. Vasquez Lasso (End of Watch: March 1, 2023) and Police Officer Aréanah M. Preston (EOW: May 6, 2023). According to Office Down Memorial Page, there were 246 line of duty deaths in 2022.
The 79th District tragically lost a police officer when Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic (EOW: December 30, 2021) was shot and killed in the line of duty. Rep. Haas introduced House Joint Resolution 15 to designate the 315 Overpass on Interstate 57 as the Sergeant Marlene R. Rittmanic Memorial Highway. It is currently pending consideration in the State Senate after being adopted in the House of Representatives in April.