An Algonquin Police Department sergeant was selected as “Officer of the Year” for his actions in deescalating and saving two different armed suicidal subjects in 2020.
The McHenry County Chiefs of Police Association selected Sergeant Robert Salazar of the Algonquin Police Department on Tuesday.
Salazar was one of seven nominees for the award. The others were Cary Officer Joseph Fiore, Lake in the Hills Officer Eric Lee, Woodstock Officer Charles Vorderer and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant John Miller, Deputy Keith Sosnowski and Deputy Nick Clesceri.
The nominations and awards stem from their involvement in police actions during 2020, the McHenry County Chiefs of Police Association said.
Salazar responded to two separate incidents involving a suicidal person in 2020 in which he peacefully resolved the situation.
In the first incident, a man was seated in a vehicle at a local park while armed with a handgun and threatening to commit suicide.
In his supervisory role, Salazar took command of the incident, directing officers and assisting agencies to secure the area.
Salazar was able to make contact with the suicidal man, establish a dialogue and convince him not to commit suicide, the McHenry County Chiefs of Police Association said.
The individual surrendered his handgun and the Algonquin Police Department immediately arranged for the man to receive mental health services.
In the second incident, Salazar responded to a suicidal man armed with a knife. The individual was located in his vehicle armed with the knife and threatening suicide.
Salazar again performed his supervisory duties securing the area. Salazar made contact with the man by phone and spoke with him for approximately an hour.
As a result, Salazar was able to convince the individual to surrender the knife and himself to officers, preventing the suicide, the McHenry County Chiefs of Police Association said.
“Sergeant Robert Salazar was able to bring two highly stressful situations under control resulting in the preservation of life and prevention of misery for the families of these two individuals,” the association said.
“The officers who were nominated for this year’s award are law enforcement officers who are dedicated to their profession and to the communities they serve. Their actions that led to their nominations were only a few of the highlighted acts that law enforcement professionals are willing and able to perform on a daily basis for the citizens of this county,” the association added.