A message to our community and those near and far from Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb:
One month later, we continue to mourn the loss of fallen Champaign Police Officer Chris Oberheim and remember the sacrifice he made for the community he served and profession he loved.
The debt of gratitude we owe him and his family goes beyond the written word, and we will honor him appropriately for the symbol of bravery and selflessness he forever represents. We also continue to recognize the service and dedication of another heroic public servant, Officer Jeffrey Creel.
Through this heartbreaking tragedy, our department has been guided by the strength of the Oberheim family and a great embrace by communities across this country, especially here at home.
To all law enforcement and first responders, your support has been a remarkable testament of your professionalism and teamwork. Our caring business community has gone above and beyond by continuing to fuel us and offer their talented services.
To everyone who has shared the memory of Officer Oberheim publicly or privately, I hope you have found joy discussing a life beautifully led. The photos we have received of the young softball and baseball athletes have inspired us to keep swinging for the fences, and the cards, gifts and well-wishes of our residents have moved us deeply.
On behalf of the entire Champaign Police Department, to our community and those near and far, thank you. You have been a source of strength, hope and resilience.
The overwhelming support has reaffirmed our position that public safety is not only our job, but our calling. We will continue to serve to the best of our ability, through trust, integrity and respect, and with a commitment to community growth and partnership. We do so because it is what Chris would want. It is what he represented.
The perseverance of Champaign is in our ability to come together, to overcome tragedy and to move forward with a new determination to make things better. It is not the project of any one person, but a work we must all invest in, together, and now.
I am immensely proud of the grace my officers have shown operating under the umbrella of impossible circumstances. They have my full respect and admiration. And they should have yours, too.