Trustee Joseph DiNatale hands the IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors Award to Patrolman Thomas Weitzel in October 1987, just a couple of months after Weitzel survived a shotgun blast to his abdomen. He was saved by his bulletproof vest. (File 1987)

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