Every day, brave men and women wearing the uniform of public law enforcement agencies throughout this nation, risk their lives in the line of duty protecting and defending the communities they serve.
West Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 85, in partnership with the West Chicago Park District, is honoring the memory of one of their own who gave his life in the line of duty 24 years ago today.
Michael Browning, a 1987 graduate of West Chicago Community High School, pursued his dream of becoming a police officer in his hometown by attending the College of DuPage where he majored in Criminal Justice. He joined the West Chicago Police Department as a Police Cadet in 1988 and held that position until August 25, 1991 when he took the oath to become a full-time police officer for the City of West Chicago. Less than one year later, on April 20, 1992, Officer Browning responded to the scene of a crime in progress at a local car dealership, and was killed in the line of duty.
The dedication of Michael Browning Way, a West Chicago roadway at the intersection of Route 38 and Route 59 in 2007 brought family, friends, fellow officers and elected officials to the unveiling of a street sign that memorializes his service to the community, and a scholarship fund was established in his name. The 4th Annual Michael Browning Memorial Scholarship Run to Remember 5k, scheduled on July 9, 2016, supports the scholarship fund that assists students pursuing a career in criminal justice. All proceeds raised will go toward the fund.
The Michael Browning Memorial Scholarship Run to Remember 5K begins and ends at the West Chicago Park District ARC Center, 201 W. National Street in West Chicago. The race course will be of a scenic nature, taking race participants through-out the park, prairie path and finishes up at the ARC Center. Medals will be awarded to the top two finishers (male and female) in each of six age categories: 19 & under; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60 & over. Clocks will be at miles 1 & 2 and results will be posted after the race and also sent to all participants with a valid email address.
Registration for the race may be completed online at www.racetime.info or through mail. The race fee is $30 for each pre-registered runner/walker and $20 for each additional runner/walker in the same household. Day of race registration increases $5 for each participant. For more information contact the West Chicago Park District at (630) 231-9474, Det. Robbi Peterson of the West Chicago Police Department at email@example.com, or visit the Michael Browning Memorial Run to Remember Facebook page. “We will never forget the sacrifice made by Officer Browning to the community he so loved, and wish to honor him through this Run to Remember and through the money it will raise for his scholarship fund,” said West Chicago Police Detective and member of FOP Lodge 85, Robbi Peterson.
The City of West Chicago also remembers the service of Officer George Riehm, who was the first West Chicago Police officer killed in the line of duty. On April 29, 1921, he was shot while investigating a burglary at a local lumberyard. The alleged murderer, James Witt, was apprehended, but committed suicide before charges were brought against him; and Officer Raymond G. Wilson who was serving as a special policeman on July 25, 1965, at a fire department carnival at Reed-Keppler Park. Guadalupe Ruel shot Officer Wilson with his own revolver. Officer Wilson was 43-years old.