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Law & Order column: Lake County deputy given statewide award for bravery


A Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy was given a statewide award for bravery for his actions in confronting a man with a meat cleaver.

Deputy Andrew Martini was one of 13 officers recognized on May 20 with the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor in a ceremony with Gov. Pritzker and Illinois State Police officials.

Martini was cited for his actions on Oct. 23, when he responded to a report of a suicidal subject in a Round Lake area residence. Martini arrived and found a man unconscious on a bed with a significant amount of blood. As Martini began assessing the man for injuries, he regained consciousness and grabbed a meat cleaver that was on the floor next to him.

The man advanced on Martini and a resident of the house until Martini was forced to shoot the man, authorities said. Martini then provided aid to the man until paramedics took over, but the man died.

“Those we honor today have not only met the extraordinary obligations of their oath of office, but they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect our communities. We are forever grateful for their heroism,” Pritzker said.

Other honorees included seven Belvidere Police officers for their actions following the March 31, 2023, tornado that struck their town and caused a theater roof to collapse onto people who were attending a concert.

Drive to stay alive

The Memorial Day weekend has arrived and with it, the unofficial start of the summer driving season. Police across the state and Lake County will be out to enforce the traffic laws, especially speeding, seat belt violations and driving under the influence. So please drive safely and drive sober.

Meanwhile, Highland Park police recently announced that the department is beginning a High Visibility Enforcement Campaign throughout the village to enhance traffic safety.

HPPD said the campaign is in response to increasing reports of dangerous driving, including speeding and driving while talking on cell phones.

The department said it intends for the campaign to encourage voluntary compliance with traffic laws, but officers will be writing tickets where appropriate.

Marketing ploy

Police in Gurnee and Zion are alerting the public to what they say is a marketing ploy by a company selling water-purification equipment.

The company will leave a bag containing a “testing packet,” which the resident then fills with water and returns to the company. It “tests” the sample and then tries to sell equipment to the resident.

Zion police reminded residents that the city’s water supply is regularly tested and annual reports about it are available for review.

Lifetime achievement award

Lake County Judge Michael Betar was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from a statewide bar association group.

The Arab American Bar Association presented Betar with the Lifetime Advocate Award this month.

The professional organization is open to any attorney or law student who shares the group’s dedication to equal justice, education and community service.

“I was a founding member of this organization 32 years ago, and I have enjoyed my membership ever since,” Betar said. “This bar association does meaningful and important work for the Arab American community, and I am honored to be recognized.”

Betar has served as a judge since 2008, and previously worked as an attorney in civil litigation. He is a graduate of the Northern Illinois University Law School.

Coffee with a Cop

Zion police will hold a “Coffee with a Cop” event on June 1 from 9-11 a.m. at the McDonald’s at 2028 Sheridan Road. Residents are invited to stop by and ask questions about safety issues, or just to say hello.


Clifford Ward , 2024-05-24 18:48:11

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