Written by News Bulletin News Sources
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:00
The Aurora Police Department has named three police officers as Employees of the Month for July and August.
Sergeants Dan Eppard and Rick Ahlgren shared honors for July for saving the lives of five young rafters on the Vermillion River on June 28 while the pair were off-duty.
The rafters, all boys ranging in age from 10 to 14, became trapped in a dam while rafting near downstate Oglesby.
Eppard and Ahlgren were kayaking on the river when they saw the five in peril. They proceeded to beach their kayak, throw a rope to the youngsters, and pull them to safety.
Ironically, Sergeant Eppard saved the life of an adult woman in 2009 who had become trapped in the exact same dam.
“As off-duty officers, Sergeant Eppard’s and Ahlgren’s police training likely contributed to their quick thinking and responsive actions”, said Chief of Police Greg Thomas. “However, it was their regard for human life and their willingness to preserve it that makes their actions commendable.”
Sergeant Eppard began his Aurora Police career in 1995; Ahlgren in 1997.
Patrol Officer Kyle Hoffman was named Employee of the Month for August due to his response to a home invasion on Aurora’s West Side in July where a female was robbed and beaten with a hammer.
Early in the investigation, the victim’s ex-boyfriend was established as a suspect. Officer Hoffman knew where the grandmother of a friend of the suspect lived so he drove by the home and saw a vehicle parked on the lawn.
When he illuminated the area with his spotlight, he observed the suspect and the grandson who was the suspect’s associate, get out of the vehicle.
After calling for backup, Hoffman tried to speak with the associate and noticed he was drinking a beverage out of a cup. The associate quickly became uncooperative and locked himself in his grandmother’s house. Assisting officers, meanwhile, located the suspect in a neighboring yard and placed him under arrest.
As the investigation continued, an Aurora Police sergeant was questioning the grandmother of the associate who was being uncooperative.
During his questioning he noticed two cell phones that matched the description of items that had been taken in the home invasion. They had been placed next to a beverage cup in a mailbox by the front of the residence.
The cup, which was partially full and still contained ice, was identified by Officer Hoffman as the one from which the associate had been drinking giving officers probable cause to arrest the associate. The arrest was eventually made without incident.
“Due to Officer Hoffman’s knowledge of gang members and associates, he was able to quickly locate the offenders”, said Chief Thomas. “Because of his instincts and the teamwork displayed by his fellow officers, two of the City’s most notable offenders were apprehended.”
Officer Hoffman began his Aurora Police career in 2008.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 14:28