The Chicago City Council held a tribute Wednesday for fallen police officer Michael R. Bailey, who earlier this year became the 545th police officer to be killed in the line of duty in the city.
Gunned down on July 18 while chasing robbers in front of his South Side home, Bailey was set to retire this year as he turned 63. Not only did Bailey serve and protect the city of Chicago for the past 20 years, but he also served in the United States Air Force until 1969, worked as a firefighter at Glenview Naval Station, and was a member of the local school board.
The chambers at the city council meeting were about halfway full for the ceremony, with an audience that included Bailey’s wife and children, as numerous aldermen rose to speak on the officer’s behalf. One alderman in particular spoke about the peaceful way in which Bailey kept local community meetings under control while still keeping his nice guy image.
During his time serving as a Chicago police officer up until his recent passing, Bailey personally guarded the home of Mayor Richard M. Daley, who also spoke fondly of him at the meeting. Daley said he was outraged that community members have yet to come forward with information leading to Bailey’s killer, especially since Bailey was such a prominent figure in his neighborhood.
A large, illuminated picture of a smiling Bailey in a tuxedo was projected for all to see at the meeting. The ceremony was brought to an end with final remarks from the mayor, who walked over to Bailey’s family members and shook each of their hands.
The shiny new Buick that Bailey had bought as a retirement gift for himself still stands as an everlasting memory, while Chicago police vow to catch his killer.
This entry was posted on September 14, 2010 at 7:00 am and is filed under Community Concerns, Justice & Crime, The Editor’s Choice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.