In the last year the police community of the Chicago area has had to endure the murders of three brother officers (2 on duty & 1 off) without anybody being brought to justice.
On September 27, 2006 Metra Police Officer Thomas Cook was murdered. To this date his killer/killers have yet to be brought to justice. From America's Most Wanted:
A Rough Part Of Town
On Wednesday, September 27, 2006, Officer Thomas Cook of Chicago's Metra Police Department was working overtime to help pay for the new house he had just bought for his family. Officer Cook parked his vehicle at the Metra Electric District line station at 147th and Clinton Streets in south suburban Harvey -- an area known for its criminal activity. Officer Cook usually patrolled the Blue Island branch of the Electric Line, but he never complained about drawing overtime in the tough Harvey area.
Around 9 pm that night neighbors report hearing shots. A short time later, neighborhood teens noticed Officer Cook slumped over in his car and called 911.
A Heartbroken Goodbye
Officer Cook was shot at least twice -- one bullet was fired from behind directly into the officer's head; he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Cook County Deputy Sheriff Robert Cook heard of his brother's murder and raced to the train stop. He arrived in time to kiss his younger brother and say goodbye as his lifeless body was loaded into an ambulance.
Officer Cook was the first officer killed in the 43-year history of the Metra Police Force -- the agency responsible for patroling the Chicago area commuter train service.
Law Enforcement ran in 43-year-old Thomas Cook's family. His brother, Robert Cook is a Cook County Deputy Sheriff. His father Charles spent 35 years as the police chief in Riverdale, Illinois. After serving in the Army Thomas Cook himself spent 10 years on the Riverdale force. Ironicaly, he switched to the Metra Police force because he wanted a safer job.
Search For Officer's Gun And A Suspect
When police reached Officer Cook in his cruiser his SIG-Sauer service handgun was missing. An intense serach is underway for that weapon and any clues to the identity of the officer's killer.
A thought left to Tom from his wife:
Today is a sad day for me. You know this. The day the kids go back to school. Help them have a better year. Than last. Jimmy needs his confidence back that he can do good in school again, I will try to give him all the help he needs. Jessica is so happy to get back to her friends. She has the same teacher that Jimmy had in 2nd. She is nervous that it will be harder. Help them to realize that they can do anything they set their hearts to do just as you did with the Army. I will go back to work again. Help me get through the day. I will miss our phone calls when I get off to tell you about my day. Help us all to get through these rough days ahead. We miss you so much. You will allways be our Hero. Love us.
Wife of Thomas Cook
Almost a month later Maywood Police Officer Thomas Wood was murdered in the same cowardly way and still no one brought to justice.
MAYWOOD, Ill. - A 37-year-old police officer was shot and killed while sitting in his patrol car in the suburban village of Maywood, and authorities said Tuesday that they've interviewed several "persons of interest."
Maywood Police Officer Thomas Wood, a seven-year department veteran and a K-9 officer, was shot several times late Monday night and pronounced dead at 11:43 p.m. at the nearby Loyola University Medical Center.
Police Chief Elvia Williams called the shooting, near 6th Avenue and Erie Street, a "horrendous crime."
Authorities said investigators were speaking with three men, none of whom were considered suspects. A phone message left by The Associated Press Tuesday with a police department spokesman was not immediately returned.
Wood, a movie buff and father of five, also worked as a part-time security officer at Proviso East High School in Maywood and at a Target store in Broadview, family members said.
"He was awesome. You can ask anybody," his wife, Helene, 36, told the Chicago Tribune. "He treated me like a queen."
Before joining the Maywood Police Department, Wood also worked as an officer in Schiller Park and Stone Park, his wife said.
Wood's canine partner, a malinois shepherd, was in the police car during the shooting but was not injured.
On February 12 2007 a few months later off duty Chicago Police Officer Jose Vazquez was murdered outside his residence and the third Police Officer in less then 5 months was gunned down and no one in custody.
José Vazquez was remembered Friday as a stalwart and friendly Chicago police officer whose heroism came in small, daily doses of courage and kindness.
Vazquez was buried Friday after his murder early Monday in the parking area behind his West Side home.
In a Northwest Side Catholic church packed with family, police officers, federal agents and officials such as Mayor Richard Daley, eulogists praised the 34-year-old officer.
An emotional Daley thanked the Vazquez family for their sacrifice, calling them "a Chicago family." The death of any police officer is tragic, the mayor said.
"It's especially heartbreaking when it happens to someone so young, with so much promise," Daley said.
"His life was one of service," he continued, choking up. "He will never be forgotten here in the city of Chicago. He will be considered a hero."
Vazquez was the first Chicago officer slain since 2002. The special operations section officer was found fatally shot in an apparent robbery in a gated area behind his West Side condominium. He was returning from work as a security guard for a gas company.
His funeral mass, said in English and Spanish, was held Friday at Resurrection Catholic Church, 2840 W. Nelson St.
In his eulogy, police Supt. Philip Cline said, "Our city has one less noble guardian to watch over our often mean streets."
Cline said Vazquez was a generous and ambitious cop, who had earned bachelor's and master's degrees and was considering law school, while working one of the most harrowing assignments in the Police Department.
Special operations "is a role that is inherently dangerous, and he had the courage to handle it," he said.
Vazquez's older brother, Raul, thanked the department at the end of the mass, and said "We will find who did this to our brother."
After the funeral, Cline announced that a retired Chicago officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, has added $5,000 of his own money to the reward being offered for information leading to the capture of Vazquez's killer. The total now stands at $26,000.
Anybody with information about the killing can call 311, the city's information line; or Crimestoppers at 1-800-535-7867.
Keep these fine men and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Remember keep safe!