A Gurnee police officer who detained a driver that drove through Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and also responded to the Highland Park Fourth of July shooting has been awarded Officer of the Year.
Gurnee Police Officer Phil Lewy was recognized as “Officer of the Year” earlier this month during a village board meeting.
Lewy has been employed with the Gurnee Police Department since 2018.
The department said he has excelled as a professional and a leader since taking the oath of office.
Lewy was one of two off-duty officers in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg in September 2019 when a man drove his vehicle through the mall attempting to hit patrons.
When the vehicle became stuck between support columns, Lewy and the other off-duty officer pulled the suspect from the vehicle and held him until other officers arrived.
Several people suffered minor injuries but no one was seriously hurt in the incident. The suspect was charged with terrorism.
Lewy’s “bravery and devotion to duty” have continued since the mall incident, the department said.
He has earned five unit citations, two letters of commendation and a letter from Highland Park for his response to the Fourth of July parade shooting.
Lewy is a firearms, defensive tactics and use of force instructor. He mentors new officers through the field training program.
Lewy is a member of the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System Bike Response Team and a homicide investigator for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.
The department also said the officer is tri-lingual, which makes him an asset to the village’s diverse population of residents.
Also honored during the board meeting was Hector Borerro, who has been a community service officer in Gurnee since 2022.
“Hector is always willing to help others and faces challenges presented to him. As a bilingual employee, he has spent numerous hours assisting investigators with translating evidence by listening to hours of audio conversations. In addition to being a helpful resource, his infectious personality has earned him praise for spreading positivity wherever he goes,” the department said.
Police officials said both men have distinguished themselves through “exceptional performance” and were nominated by their peers and supervisors for the awards.