PERFORMANCE OF DUTY DEATHS
Roll Call of all Performance of Duty Deaths. A Performance of Duty Death is classified as the death of a sworn member who dies while on or off duty and such death results from a condition, injury, or illness that was not directly related to the member’s performance as a law enforcement officer.
Patrolman Helen P. Cardwell
Patrolman Helen P. Cardwell, Star #11815, aged 50 years, was an 18 year, 0 month, 8 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Community Services - Senior Citizens Services Division: Unit 135 - Speakers Unit.
On May 19, 1988, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Officer Cardwell was driving northbound on the 1500 block of South Sacramento Avenue. She was going to pick up her assigned squad car at the Area 4 Motor Maintenance Garage when she lost control of the unmarked pool vehicle and veered into oncoming traffic and into two trees on the opposite side of the road. Witnesses said that they did not see Officer Cardwell take any evasive action when her car swerved and there were no skid marks present at the scene. She was removed from the car by firefighters at 10:45 a.m. and transported to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m. Doctors believe she may have suffered a heart attack or a stroke.
Officer Cardwell was waked at Donnellan Funeral Home located at 10045 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, Illinois, her funeral mass was held at Queen of the Universe Catholic Church located at 7114 South Hamlin Avenue and she was laid to rest on May 23, 1988 in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, 3801 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois.
Patrolman Helen P. Cardwell, born January 28, 1938, received her Probationary Appointment to the Department on May 11, 1970. She earned 1 Honorable Mention and 127 Complimentary Letters during her career. She began her career in the Youth Division before being transferred to the Neighborhood Relations Division where she served as one of the original members of the Officer Friendly Program in 1972. Later she was assigned to the Preventative Programs Division. When the speakers unit of the Bureau of Community Services: Senior Citizens Services Division was established in 1982, she became a member. Several times each day, Officer Cardwell would meet with the elderly to teach them the simple but crucial rules of crime prevention. She held a Bachelors, Masters and was working towards a Doctorate Degree at the time of her death.
Officer Cardwell was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. She was survived by her husband Lawrence Killian, Sr. (CPD), age 53; son, Lawrence Killian, Jr., age 9 and brother, Daniel. On September 19, 1988, her husband, Lawrence, would pass away from a heart attack while on duty.
On July 23, 2019, Officer Cardwell's star was retired by Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Patrolman Thomas J. Carroll
Patrolman Thomas J. Carroll, Star #1617, aged 54 years, was a 26 year, 4 month, 21 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 34th District - Albany Park.
On March 20, 1949, Officer Thomas Carroll and his partner, Patrolman Henry Kosinski, transported a paralytic stroke victim to Cook County Hospital in their squadrol. The elevators at the hospital were out of order and the officers carried the patient up a flight of stairs. After reaching the 2nd floor Officer Carroll began to complain of chest pains and sat down in a nearby chair. Shortly after sitting down Officer Carroll had a fatal heart attack and died.
Officer Carroll was waked at Jennings-Peoples Funeral Home located at 5018-20 West Chicago Avenue, his funeral mass was held at St. Angela Catholic Church located at 5758 West Potomac Avenue and he was laid to rest on March 23, 1949 in All Saints Catholic Cemetery, 700 North River Road, Des Plaines, Illinois.
Patrolman Thomas J. Carroll, born September 3, 1894, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 27, 1922. Prior to joining the Chicago Police Department he was a Stationary Fireman.
Officer Carroll was a member of Feehan Council No. 749 Knights of Columbus. He was survived by his wife, Helen (nee Barry) and children: Helen, Jeannette, Margaret and Thomas.
On February 20, 2008, Officer Carroll's star was retired by Superintendent Jody P. Weis and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Patrolman Edgar Allen Clay Jr.
Patrolman Edgar Allen Clay, Jr., Star #10425, aged 51 years, was a 24 year, 6 month, 9 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services - Youth Division: Unit 071 - Area 1 Youth.
On January 6, 1982, at 6:15 p.m., a student of the Hyde Park Career Academy located at 6220 South Stony Island Avenue was robbed by Joel Ford, age 15, of 7016 South Harper Avenue, also a student. Ford approached the victim inside the school and produced a gun and then took the victims gym bag. He then struck the victim in the head with a fist while holding the gun in his other hand and fled the scene.
On January 7, 1982, in the early morning, the victim and his father appeared in Officer Clay's office. Officer Clay was the assigned school officer and on duty at the time. The victim, along with his father, reported the robbery to Officer Clay who filed a police report. Later the same day, at 12:15 p.m., the victim told Officer Clay that he had seen Ford in the school hallway. Officer Clay imediately went into the hallway to look for the suspect. He observed Ford in the hallway, stoped him, and told him to turn around. While attempting to search Ford, he resisted and a struggle ensued. During the struggle the youth caused Officer Clay to fall to the floor, striking his right knee, breaking his kneecap. Officer Clay then became partially incapacitated due to the injury. Several other school personnel heard the commotion and stepped in to assist the officer. They held the offender until police arrived to take him into custody. A custodial search of the offender revealed a loaded .22 caliber revolver with six rounds in his backpack. The juvenile was transported to the 3rd District for processing. Officer Clay was transported to Billings Hospital where he was treated, released and placed on the Medical Roll.
While on the medical Officer Clay developed a blood clot from the knee injury. On January 25, 1982, 1:15 p.m., he was found by his mother-in-law, Ms. Molly Hale, laying on his bedroom floor unresponsive. She called for help and CFD responded. Officer Clay was transported to Jackson Park Hospital by CFD Ambulance #38 where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Correa at 2:43 p.m. on January 25, 1982. On January 26, 1982, it was determind by a Cook County Medical Examiner Pathologist that Officer Clay died as the result of a bi-lateral pulmonary embolism in association with a recent leg injury.
Ford was charged as an adult with armed robbery, armed violence, unlawful use of weapon, resisting arrest and aggravated battery. ASA Kevin Horan after reviewing all reports and interviewing witness attempt to receive approval for felony charges on Ford. After consulting with Supervising ASA Joseph LoCallo felony charges were denied.
Officer Clay was waked at A. A. Rayner & Sons Funeral Home located at 318 East 71st Street, his funeral mass was also held at A. A. Rayner & Sons Funeral Home Chapel and he was laid to rest on January 30, 1982 in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, 3801 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois.
Patrolman Edgar Allen Clay, Jr., born June 30, 1930, received his Probationary Appointment to the Department on July 16, 1957.
Officer Clay served in the Armed Forces, was a veteran of the Korean War and was Honorably Discharged. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Clay was survived by his wife, Kay Frances (nee Hale); children: Angela Kay, age 22, Edgar Allen III, age 21 and Robert Nathanial, age 31; brother, Sidney L. and five grandchildren.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #D007720, D007722 and D026812.
Patrolman Peter J. Connolly
Patrolman Peter J. Connolly, Star #742, aged 35 years, was a 4 year, 4 month, 22 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 17th District - New City.
On October 19, 1930, Officer Connolly was on duty working the midnight shift. He stepped into a restaurant located at 1545 West 47th Street and placed an order. After being served coffee he was asked by the waiter to look at a hot water boiler which was not operating properly. Officer Connolly was reading the instructions on the wall when the boiler exploded without warning. Officer Connolly sustained severe burns in the explosion. He was transported to the hospital and died the next day from his injuries.
Officer Connolly was laid to rest on October 22, 1930 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois.
Patrolman Peter J. Connolly, March 3, 1895, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 27, 1926.
Officer Connolly was survived by his wife, Nellie.
Patrolman Leon Theodore Czajka
Patrolman Leon Theodore Czajka, Star # Unknown, aged 44 years, was an 17 year, 10 month, 17 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Traffic Division.
On January 21, 1939, Traffic Patrolman James Moran attempted to question two men, Alex Gerulis, age 22, and William Severa, age 25, in a suspected stolen auto at Dearborn and Lake Streets when they sped away. The policeman had commandeered a taxi cab, but the cab became stuck in traffic and was unable to pursue the offenders further. The pursuing policemen called to Officer Czajka, who then took up the chase by commandeering a different car at the intersection of Monroe and Dearborn Streets. Gerulis and Severa turned onto Westbound Monroe Street and later abandoned their vehicle at Wells Street. At that time Officer Czajka pursued the offenders on foot and apprehended them at Adams and Market Streets. Officer Czajka collapsed as he covered the two suspects with his pistol drawn. Gerulis and Severa attempted to flee the area but were stopped and held by a private citizen, Elwood Zuley, age 23, a police department applicant who was number 1866 on the list. Zuley witnessed the incident, ran over to Officer Czajka's side and picked up his revolver, gave chase and carried out a citizen's arrest one block away holding the suspects for Traffic Patrolman Michael J. Deneen. Tragically, Officer Czajka suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died during the incident.
Alex Gerulis and William Severa were charged with auto theft.
Officer Czajka was waked at a John V. May Funeral Home located at 4553-61 North Milwaukee Avenue, his funeral mass was held at St. Cornelius Church located at 5205 North Lieb Avenue and he was laid to rest on January 25, 1939 in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, 6800 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois.
Patrolman Leon Theodore Czajka, born April 9, 1894, received a Temporary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 8, 1919 prior to his Probationary Appointment to the Department on March 4, 1921. He earned 2 Credible Mentions during his career.
Officer Czajka served in the Armed Forces and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of the Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion. Officer Czajka was survived by his wife, Anastasia (nee Chmielewski); mother, Julia (nee Dominikoski) and siblings: Frank, John and Tillie Talaska.