Riverside Police officers Detective Sergeant Leo Kotor and Detective James Lazansky were selected by Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart to receive the Cook County Sheriff’s “Award of Valor”.
This award recognizes officers who have performed acts of heroism and bravery. Both officers received the award for their exemplary performance on July 14, 2017, when they jumped into action to help a motorcyclist injured in a crash at 73rd Place and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview.
Kotor and Lazansky were transporting a prisoner from south suburban Evergreen Park to Riverside when they saw a BMW hit a motorcycle at West 73rd Place and Harlem Avenue in southwest suburban Bridgeview. The motorcyclist landed on the street and appeared to have severe injuries. The detectives called 9-1-1, stopped their unmarked car, activated emergency lights, and blocked traffic to allow emergency crews to respond.
The detectives then retrieved emergency medical supplies from their squad trunk to help the motorcyclist, who appeared to have back injuries, a large deformation on the front of his head and a bone protruding from his right arm. They applied a tourniquet to his arm and witnesses helped them apply bandages to the back of his head, which was bleeding profusely.
The detectives found that the male had a police I.D. on him, identifying him as a Cook County Sheriff's officer. When an ambulance arrived, they turned over care to paramedics.
Riverside Chief Thomas Weitzel commented, “Both of these officers honored have continuously demonstrated their commitment to serving the residents of Riverside and all citizens with compassion and professionalism. The officers’ dedication goes beyond normal expectations and they’re most deserving of these prestigious awards.”
The award presentation was held at Moraine Valley Community College on Monday, May 7, 2018 and attended by Chief Thomas Weitzel.
Photo, Detective James Lazansky (L) and Detective Sergeant Leo Kotor