2013 Police Officer of the Year
2013 Police Officer of the Year
North Aurora, IL—The North Aurora Police Department is proud to announce that two officers were recently honored for their excellent work in 2013. The North Aurora Lion’s Club named Officer John “Jake” Kerlin the 2013 Police Officer of the Year at their annual awards banquet on Tuesday, January 28th at Gaslite Manor in Aurora. This award has been presented annually since 2005.
On November 5th, 2013, Officer 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 do 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. Officer 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.
Officer 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 December 11th, 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. Officer 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, Officer 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.
Officer Kerlin has been a member of the North Aurora Police Department for 13 years and is currently assigned to the evening shift patrol.
Past winners of the award were:
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
For more information, contact:
Deputy Chief Scott Buziecki
(630) 897-8705, ext. 752