WOODSTOCK – It was a night for McHenry County to celebrate their “boys in blue.” The McHenry County Chiefs of Police Association presented their first McHenry County Officer of the Year Award on Saturday evening at a holiday reception at the Bull Valley Golf Club.
Twelve officers from six departments in McHenry County were up for the award, meant to honor an officer or officers who went above and beyond the call of duty by doing exemplary work. Each department was allowed two nominations in one of seven different events.
John Perkins, Huntley Chief of Police and President of the McHenry County Chiefs of Police, started the program by commending all of the officers honored that evening.
“We often take for granted those that have sworn to protect our county. It’s our night for us to let our fellow officers know that we recognize them as heroes,” Perkins said.
Officer Adam Schraw of the Woodstock Police Department took home the coveted award for saving the life of a 9-month-old infant who was choking. He used his CPR training to clear a hair clip that was obstructing the infant’s airflow.
Schraw approached the podium humbly and with a large grin.
“I had some pretty stiff competition and I’m not sure that I did better than these other guys,” Schraw said. “I was just doing what I was trained to do.”
Chief Perkins offered congratulations to Schraw, as well as a few memories. Schraw’s father is a retired officer of the Aurora Police Department, where Perkins was one of his training officers. Perkins also said that he had been Adam’s American Legion Baseball coach.
“I’m very proud of him and I must say that Adam is a far better police officer than he was a ball player,” said Perkins with a chuckle.
After the announcement, Schraw joined his wife, Laura, who was gushing with pride for her husband’s accomplishments, back at their table.
“I’m just so proud of him. He’s so good at what he does,” she said. “We have a 9-month-old of our own and I now know that there isn’t anything he can’t handle.”
The other nominees included Detective Frank Houlihan of the Crystal Lake Police Department for his efforts in solving two drug-related deaths, Officer Robert Schultz of the Harvard Police Department for saving the life a 73-year-old man on a routine check, Officer Brett Wisnauski of the Algonquin Police Department for his work with domestic violence programs, Officer Brett Kinney of the Huntley Police Department for saving the life of a potential suicide victim, and Officer Patrick Callahan of the Huntley Police Department for aiding an accident victim trapped under an SUV.
Sergeants Anthony Penna and John Koziol and Detectives Benjamin Brock, Hector Garza, Craig L’Esperance and Tom Jonites from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department were nominated as a group for their work on bringing down an armed robbery ring in McHenry County.