CHARLESTON – Two Eastern Illinois University police officers and a Charleston business were honored by the Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge (FOP) during an appearance in Charleston on April 19 by FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood.
“These awards recognize life-saving actions and outstanding police work, as well as the support of a local business that helps law enforcement officers do their jobs,” Southwood said. “The citizens of Charleston can be proud of those we are honoring with these awards.”
The FOP Life Saving Award, presented for outstanding efforts or actions that save or sustain a human life, was presented to Eastern Illinois University Police Officer Dylan Short.
On January 24, 2016 Officer Short responded to a call of an intoxicated individual, where he found an unresponsive female. Short immediately began CPR and effectively revived the victim, who was transported to the hospital by Charleston Fire Department paramedics.
Officer Short’s quick action was instrumental in saving the woman’s life.
The FOP Meritorious Service Award, given to an FOP member for outstanding police and community work which has brought credit to the law enforcement profession, was presented to EIU Police Officer Stephen Szigethy. Officer Szigethy has distinguished himself and has been recognized for his DUI and seat belt enforcement efforts and for educating new police officers. He led the effort to re-establish the EIU Police Department’s FOP Lodge and currently serves as Lodge # 777 President. Szigethy led the first annual FOP Lodge 777 Coles County Animal Shelter food drive which collected several hundred pounds of food and necessary items to the shelter, and oversaw the first FOP raffle which generated more than $1,800 for the organization.
The Blue Gold Award, which recognizes a non-member or organization that has shown great support to the FOP, was presented to Joey’s Place of Charleston. Mark Grant, the owner of Joey’s place, along with his 92-year-old mother Winola Grant, has been a strong advocate for law enforcement in the Charleston area and is a very vocal supporter of the Eastern Illinois University Police FOP Lodge # 777, Charleston Police FOP Lodge # 88 and the Coles County Sheriff’s Office FOP Lodge # 207. Mark Grant has made many donations to all the lodges in Charleston and regularly contacts police regarding criminal activity which has led to numerous arrests. He believes strongly in a safe community and his generosity and support has earned him respect and admiration from all in law enforcement, and it doesn’t hurt that he serves up fine meals for the citizens of Charleston and Coles County.
The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. With a proud tradition of officers representing officers, the FOP is the most respected and most recognized police organization in the country. The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest State Lodge, proudly representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers – more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide. Visit www.ilfop.org for more information.