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Awards season for Niles, Glen Ellyn police officers

By Dan Campana

Life-saving actions by Glen Ellyn Police Officer Kevin Riggle earned him the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce’s “Police Officer of the Year” award.

Riggle was recently recognized at the Community Awards Breakfast in connection to his efforts to save an unconscious woman from a car that crashed into a pond near the College of DuPage campus in March 2017.

Police said the car went into the water, drifted 100 feet from shore and became submerged. Riggle arrived and, despite the frigid water temperatures, removed his gear and swam to the vehicle. Once there, he pulled the woman above the surface and on to the car’s roof where she regained consciousness. Riggle kept her alert while they waited to be pulled to shore by Lisle-Woodridge firefighters.

The woman made a full recovery.

Niles Police Officer John Gaba earns Chamber honor

Also receiving community honors was Niles Police Officer John Gaba, who has been named the Niles Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.”

Gaba was nominated for his efforts to address speeding, distracted driving and truck safety, as well as for being active in community events such as Coffee with a Cop, National Night Out and as a participant in the Special Olympics Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Gaba will be formally recognized on April 27 at the “Night of Roses” event.

(Officer John Gaba and Niles Police Chief Luis C. Tigera – Niles Police Department photo)

Chicago Heights K-9 latest to get vest

Cap, the Chicago Heights Police Department’s K-9, is the latest in the Chicago area to receive a protective vest from the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s organization.

A dual-purpose German Shepard, Cap has been partnered with Officer Phil Kostecka since 2014. His vest is sponsored by Elizabeth Holota of New Jersey and will be embroidered with the phrase “Honoring those who served and sacrificed.”

(Chicago Heights Police Department photo)

Vested Interest has provided approximately 2,800 vests, with a total cost of $2.4 million, since being established in 2009

Vests are available through the program to certified K-9s in the United States who are employed and at least 20 months old. New K-9s and those with expired vests are also eligible. A $950 donation provides one protective vest to a police dog.