We’re just over months into 2019 and already we are experiencing a staggering loss from officers that have been killed in the line of duty. 32 heroes have been taken since the beginning of January.
7 of those who made the ultimate sacrifice were struck and killed by vehicles. In this 3-month period, we have already lost more officers in that regard than the entire year of 2018.
Law Enforcement Today has learned that the man responsible for killing Illinois State Trooper Gerald Ellis reportedly had over 70 tickets and didn’t have a license. In fact, there is no evidence that the 44-year-old ever had a license, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
According to an article from The Patch, Dan Davies, the suspect named in the crash, had been arrested twice for drunk driving and had ‘one of the worst driving records in the state of Illinois.
Davies had been cited a number of times for driving without a license and had been pulled over ‘dozens’ of times, according to authorities.
In addition to his atrocious driving record, Davies was also charged in 22 other criminal cases including drug dealing, assault, domestic battery, and battery on a police officer. He was convicted 7 times, but only spent a collective 53 days behind bars.
A man that should have never been allowed to operate a vehicle again, and who most likely should be in prison is now facing charges for the death of this Illinois hero. Maybe this tragedy will ensure that he never puts another life at risk in the future.
Trooper Ellis was remembered fondly by family members. “Jerry will be remembered as the foundation of our family and the community,” the family said in a statement. “Through his compassion, devotion, and nurturing abilities, he supported anyone that crossed his path. Each day, he will be remembered as a husband and father who was noble and altruistic.”
Authorities are now pushing for greater enforcement behind Scott’s Law, which requires that motorists change lanes to give emergency vehicles on the side of the road extra space to conduct their jobs safely. The law came into effect in 2002 when Chicago Firefighter Scott Glennon was struck and killed while working at the scene of an accident on the side of the highway.
The hashtag #MoveOver is trending on Twitter.
The original story from the loss of Trooper Ellis can be read here.
Police say that 36-year-old Trooper Gerald Ellis was on-duty in his squad car traveling home at 3:25 a.m. when he was struck and killed.
Illinois State Police mourn the loss of Trooper Gerald Ellis #6038.
His squad car was struck head on by a wrong-way driver on I-94 at approximately 3:25 am this morning. Trooper Ellis succumbed to his injuries after being transported to the hospital.
It is a sad day. pic.twitter.com/LuGwsBvTl2
— IllinoisStatePolice (@ILStatePolice) March 30, 2019
That’s when he was hit head-on near mile post 16.75 on Interstate 94 in Green Oaks, when a wrong-way driver was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes and struck his vehicle.
Ellis was rushed to an area hospital and pronounced dead at 4:04 a.m.
Ellis is actually the third member of the Illinois State Police killed on the state’s roadways this year.
Trooper Christopher Lambert and Trooper Brooke Jones-Story have both been fatally struck when pulled to the side of the road.
Illinois State Police mourn the loss of Trooper Brooke Jones-Story #5966.
She was struck by a truck tractor semi trailer while outside of her squad car on a traffic stop on US Route 20 near Freeport, IL.
Rest peacefully. We will never forget you.
End of Watch 3-28-19 pic.twitter.com/8WUNBmRW6S
— IllinoisStatePolice (@ILStatePolice) March 28, 2019
There’s been a sharp uptick in the number of drivers hitting squad cars while they’re stopped with emergency lights on. The death of Jones-Story was the 15thsuch crash in 2019 alone – which is more than all of the Illinois State Police crashes for the years of 2016, 2017 and 2018 combined.
Law Enforcement Today is proud to support Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) as our “charity of choice” for supporting the survivors of fallen officers. We hope you’ll consider doing the same.
Here’s what they are all about:
Each year, between 140 and 160 officers are killed in the line of duty and their families and co-workers are left to cope with the tragic loss. C.O.P.S. provides resources to help them rebuild their shattered lives. There is no membership fee to join C.O.P.S., for the price paid is already too high.
C.O.P.S. was organized in 1984 with 110 individual members. Today, C.O.P.S. membership is over 48,000 survivors. Survivors include spouses, children, parents, siblings, significant others, and co-workers of officers who have died in the line of duty according to Federal government criteria. C.O.P.S. is governed by a national board of law enforcement survivors. All programs and services are administered by the National Office in Camdenton, Missouri. C.O.P.S. has over 50 Chapters nationwide that work with survivors at the grass-roots level.
C.O.P.S. programs for survivors include the National Police Survivors’ Conference held each May during National Police Week, scholarships, peer-support at the national, state, and local levels, “C.O.P.S. Kids” counseling reimbursement program, the “C.O.P.S. Kids” Summer Camp, “C.O.P.S. Teens” Outward Bound Adventure for young adults, special retreats for spouses, parents, siblings, adult children, extended family, and co-workers, trial and parole support, and other assistance programs.
C.O.P.S. knows that a survivor’s level of distress is directly affected by the agency’s response to the tragedy. C.O.P.S., therefore, offers training and assistance to law enforcement agencies nationwide on how to respond to the tragic loss of a member of the law enforcement profession. C.O.P.S. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. C.O.P.S. programs and services are funded by grants and donations.