You may not recognize the mustachioed young patrolman in this photo, but it is Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.
In October 1987, Weitzel received a plaque from then-Trustee Joseph DiNatale, who at the time was the village board’s police and fire committee chairman. You can’t read what’s on the plaque, but it’s the IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivor’s Award. Kevlar, of course, is the material bulletproof vests are made from.
And back on Aug. 12, 1987, Weitzel really needed that bulletproof vest. Weitzel was a relative newcomer on the Riverside police force when he got out of his squad car to check on a suspicious vehicle parked on the north end of the village in the early morning hours.
As he approached the vehicle, a man stepped out, pointed a shotgun at Weitzel and pulled the trigger. Here’s the Chicago Tribune’s account of the incident.