The North Aurora Lions Club will announce the 2013 Police Officer of the Year at the club's annual awards banquet on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Gaslite Manor in Aurora. The award has been presented annually since 2005.
Police supervisors provide the nominations and the Lion’s Club chooses the winner. Officers David Parr and John (Jake) Kerlin are this year’s nominees.
Here are their descriptions, courtesy of the North Aurora Lions Club:
Officer David Parr was assigned to the fleet maintenance team in 2011 and since then has been an excellent fit helping with day to day maintenance.
Parr is responsible for making sure that routine maintenance is on schedule, maintaining a good working relationship with the village mechanic, and annual new squad up-fitting, which includes making decisions on what equipment to purchase for the new squads and arranging installation with the vendors.
Maintaining a fleet of police vehicles is no easy task and requires day to day, hour to hour attention. Parr has grasped this role and made it his own by developing his own style of managing the task.
Parr has been a member of the North Aurora Police Department for 16 years and is presently assigned to the night shift patrol.
On Nov. 5, 2013, Officer John (Jake) Kerlin was dispatched to check on the well-being of an elderly citizen. Upon arrival, he found that the electricity had been turned off to the residence due to a miscommunication with billing. He assisted in resolving the problem; however, power could not be restored until the following morning.
The temperature would be dropping during the night and the woman lived alone with no immediate family in the area. Kerlin offered to drive her to a hotel in the area and pay for the room out of his own pocket. The woman declined since she did not want to leave her home.
Kerlin then took measures to ensure the woman would be able to reach out to emergency services should she need help during the evening. Since she had no working phone, he purchased a plug in phone with his own money and then found the woman’s phone service was disconnected. Finally, he was able to arrange for a neighbor to loan the woman a cell phone and also to keep an eye on her for the evening.
The next day he returned to check on the woman and found that the power had been partially restored but that her furnace was not working. He contacted a furnace repair company for her and arranged a time when they could come and look at it. Finally, to ensure that this resident would have the support she would need in the future he arranged for Senior Services to contact her.
On Dec. 11, 2013, Officer Kerlin was following up on an illegal dumping complaint at a public storage facility. The repeated dumping was a nuisance to the owners, so they resorted to installing a surveillance system, which captured a clear image of the offender.
Kerlin helped the owners download the image and then conducted a canvass in the area to identify the offender. During this canvass, he located a person in the neighborhood who fit the description and was wearing similar clothing as in the surveillance image. Ultimately, he was able to get the offender to confess and the illegal dumping was stopped.
During both of these incidents, Kerlin could have simply passed the call onto others for follow up, but he put in the extra effort, and in the process, made a lasting impact on three members of our community.
Kerlin has been a member of the North Aurora Police Department for 13 years and is presently assigned to the evening shift patrol.
Past winners of the award
- 2005: Officer Dan Cyko
- 2006: Officer Chris Joswick
- 2007: Officer Mike Quinn
- 2008: Officer Kristen Lohrstorfer
- 2009: Sergeant Joseph DeLeo
- 2010: Officer Ryan Hooper
- 2011: Officer Ryan McKiness
- 2012: Officer Mark Shillair