Above / Congratulations to Detective Kate Koziol, honored with the 2017 George Pradel Award for Public Service by the Citizens Appreciate Public Service Board. Kate is pictured with City Councilman Paul Hinterlong, Mayor Emeritus George Pradel and her dad.

The Citizens Appreciate Public Safety (CAPS) Awards and other Naperville Police Department awards were presented May 18 during the annual ceremony held in the spring in the Pavilion at Meson Sabika. The event coincides with National Police Week.

The social hour was enhanced with music by Neuqua Valley High School musicians, Lauren Uy, Sarah UY, Hannah Hooven and Isaac Lee; followed by the welcome and introductions by CAPS Chairman David Wentz, Presentation of the Colors, Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem by Lisa Gangi, and invocation by Police Chaplain Michael Hurst.

Special appreciation was extended to the men and women of the Naperville Police Department Honor Guard and Piper for their “outstanding performance” during the presentation of the colors.

During an overview of the CAPS commemorative brick program, “Say It in Stone,” that will begin recognizing outgoing public safety officials, Pat Mason was honored as the first recipient. Mason retired March 10 after 35 years with the City of Naperville, 17 years of which were as the administrative assistant to the Chief of Police.

Gone are the days when memorandums of appreciation are stuffed in an officer’s mailbox, said Chief Bob Marshall as he thanked the CAPS board and all the citizens who had come in support of the police department.

One by one, members of the NPD were honored for their compassion and dedication in times of crisis intervention and other emergencies that saved lives. Others were recognized for public safety collaboration during 40 special events annually, and telecommunicator Theresa Brock was recognized as one of the “unsung heroes” behind the scenes.

In a moment of levity to emphasize how fortunate Naperville is to have such devoted police and fire departments, teaming up well for every community event, Sergeant Steve Schindlbeck pulled a quote out of the air, sometimes seen on t-shirts, “God created police officers so firemen could have heroes, too.”

Board of Fire and Police Commissioners Award

Kenn Miller, Chairman of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners presented the Commissioner’s Award to recognize outstanding service, specifically someone who gives back through mentoring, volunteering and serving as a role model to other members of the NPD and the community.

Officer Rick Krakow was honored with the Commissioner’s Award for his peer guidance as well as positive outreach to local youth, especially one 90-minute encounter.

Long story short, Miller told how Krakow became aware of his impact from one conversation with a youth when a detailed Facebook post was discovered online by a family friend.

“The statement ended with a quote,” said Commissioner Miller. “‘When the people and the police start to communicate more, I think then we will start to see change.’ Thank you, Officer Krakow.”

George Pradel Award

Recognition for police department personnel also includes the George Pradel Award, a coveted award bestowed to a law enforcement officer whose performance epitomizes the heart and spirit of a public servant by going above and beyond in the delivery of service to the community.

For 2017, the George Pradel Award went to Detective Kate Koziol, who a few minutes earlier had received a CAPS Award for many of the same reasons.

Last fall, Koziol, a juvenile investigator, recognized a need for foster kids who had few possessions of their own. The detective began collecting and organizing items for “Sweet Cases,” personalized packs for teens she put together for 86 kids receiving foster care via the services of Our Children’s Homestead. The nonprofit organization in Naperville aims to “build a strong, stable foundation of support for youth” (primarily ages 14-21) and “develop opportunities that enable them to discover and sustain a positive life.” With the support of her co-workers “and the whole community,” Koziol collected $2,500 to fund the Sweet Cases, large duffel bags packed full of comfort and toiletry items that the foster kids can call their own.

Koziol expressed her gratitude to all for supporting “a cause very near and dear to my heart.”

PHOTO GALLERY by James Hoch Photography features photos from the 2017 CAPS Awards Dinner on May 18. To link, click here.

Submit nominations all year to recognize public safety

When CAPS first was established in 2001, the group dedicated a two-sided memorial to honor police and fire in the Public Safety Center.

Year-round, the Naperville Citizens Appreciate Public Safety (CAPS) board accepts nominations from the community recognizing Naperville Police Department and Naperville Fire Department personnel for outstanding service. Nominations can be submitted any time by visiting www.napervillecaps.com or emailing CAPSNaperville@gmail.com.

The 2017 nominations for the Naperville Police Department were accepted until mid-April. Award recipients were honored as part of the CAPS awards dinner May 18 in the Pavilion at Meson Sabika, 1025 Aurora Ave.

CAPS Awards go to Police Department in spring, Fire Department in fall 

During CAPS dinners in the spring, NPD emergency vehicles are on display at Meson Sabika. In the fall, NFD emergency vehicles and equipment are on exhibit for the public to see.

Citizens Appreciate Public Safety (CAPS) is a tax exempt, nonprofit community group that recognizes public safety personnel for contributions to the City of Naperville.

Residents are invited to nominate public safety employees who have displayed an interest in Naperville’s residents in a manner above and beyond the call of duty and exhibited a genuine concern for the welfare and well-being of all citizens.The CAPS board selects individuals from nominations submitted to receive awards during two events hosted annually, one in the spring for the Police Department and one in the fall for the Fire Department.

Now that the Naperville Police Department has been recognized for it service beyond the call of duty, nominations are being accepted until mid-September for first responders and staff in the Naperville Fire Department. The annual CAPS Dinner to pay tribute to the Naperville Fire Department will be held in October, again in the Pavilion at Meson Sabika.

For more information on CAPS, visit www.naperville.il.us/caps.

To submit a nomination, visit www.napervillecaps.com or send the nomination in the form of a letter to CAPSNaperville@gmail.com. Nomination letters also can be mailed via USPS to CAPS c/o Naperville Police Department, 1350 Aurora Avenue, Naperville, IL 60540 OR CAPS c/o Naperville Fire Department, 1380 Aurora Avenue, Naperville, IL 60540.

RELATED POST / “Two Words” featured in PN column by NPD Crime Prevention Specialist Julie Smith


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