Urbana to honor police, citizens

Seven Urbana police officers and 10 citizens will be publicly acknowledged by the Urbana police chief Thursday for their "heroic" efforts in assisting others.

In some of the cases, Chief Pat Connolly said, "without their involvement, people could have died. That's the ultimate involvement — saving somebody else's life."

"It's so important that the people in our community recognize what others do," he said, adding he's seen a big increase in engagement between Urbana citizens and the police department in the three years since he became chief.

The public is invited to the ceremony from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St., U.

Police officers to be recognized:

— Shannon Wolfe, Officer of the Year and Life-Saving award. Connolly lauded Wolfe for "doing creative proactive stuff as a result of reactive calls." She developed informational pamphlets on keeping cars and homes safe from burglars and distributed them in response to a spike in calls.

— Cory Koker and Brian Wilfong, Life-Saving award. Both sergeants performed CPR on a woman in distress during the Sweet Corn Festival.

— Jay Loschen: Life-Saving and Merit awards. The sergeant helped firefighters with a person who had a heart attack at Charter Fitness and in a separate case recognized a car that had been involved in an accident and stopped it. The driver turned out to be responsible for a hit-and-run that killed a man.

— Tim McNaught, Merit award: The investigator trained in computer forensics is being honored for his efforts to combat child pornography in the county.

— Ron Timmons and Rich Coleman, Merit awards: The patrol officers responded to a shots fired call at Prairie Green apartments in September and were instrumental in finding three guns stolen last year from the Rural King store in Champaign.

Citizens to be recognized:

— Cheryl Smith, civilian employee of the year for her work as a police services representative at the police department.

— Joy Gable and Jerry Gable for getting medical help to neighbor Sharon Barnes.

— Lauren Mathis, assisted with the investigation of a domestic battery.

— Lauren Schneiderbauer, assisted with an in-progress bicycle theft.

— Robert Woodward and Brin Schuler, doctors at McKinley Health Center who helped during a fatal accident on Lincoln Avenue in October.

— Xinxin Ye, assisted police with language translation during an ongoing investigation.

— Alicia Smith and Toyya Jones, helped police with an armed robbery investigation.

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