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Burke honored as Officer of the Year

Patrolman recognized for always working toward the ‘betterment of the community’

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 8:46 a.m. CDT

Patrolman Paul Burke was named the Morris Police Officer of the Year at Monday’s City Council meeting.

In front of the council, his peers, family and a full council chambers, Burke was awarded the 2012 Officer of the Year Award from Chief Brent Dite.

“Paul is one of those officers we recognized up front as someone who enjoys coming into work everyday and enjoys learning on the job,” said Dite after the meeting.

“Whether it is 8 p.m. at night or 6 a.m. in the morning, he is always trying to do something for the betterment of the community,” Dite continued.

The chief told the council Burke was hired April 28, 2008. He successfully completed Basic Recruit Law Enforcement Officer training at the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois in Champaign that same year. Burke is certified as a Juvenile Officer, in elder abuse detection, accident investigation, and driving under the influence enforcement and detection.

Burke is a graduate of Minooka Community High School and Joliet Junior College. His entire career has been with Morris police as a patrol officer.

“Officer Burke is currently assigned as a Patrolman on the night shift and his hard work and dedication has been the reason that Officer Burke has been recognized by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists for exceptional DUI enforcement and a Letter of Commendation by the Morris Police Department, while also receiving various thank you letters from community members for the service he has provided to them,” said Dite.

Burke was nominated for the Officer of the Year Award by his co-workers and the administration.

“I feel real honored to be nominated by my fellow officers and to be recognized by the chief,” said Burke after the meeting.

Dite said Burke also received a medal, pin, bar and certificate from the American Police Hall of Fame. They issued him a Distinguished Service Award for receiving the local award.

In other business, the city council approved numerous city street and park uses for events happening this spring and summer. The soonest event will be the use of Goold Park by the Morris Lions Club for its annual Easter Egg Hunt. This year, the hunt will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 30.

An administrative hearing was on the agenda for an alleged business license violation by Seven Turtles, Inc., doing business as 7 Spa. Mayor Richard Kopczick said this hearing is being moved to the next council meeting, March 18.

The business’ attorney requested the date change, he said.

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