Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Daughter to follow in slain police officer’s footsteps

The late Officer Michael Bailey's police star had been recently retired. And now the daughter is being trained as a police officer.

Nine months after her father was gunned down in his police uniform outside his home July 18, an emotional Jada Bailey and her mother carefully retired his badge to the Superintendent’s Honored Police Star case at Chicago Police headquarters Tuesday morning.

If the young woman gets her way, Michael Bailey’s star number 13970 will soon be replaced on Chicago’s streets with her own.

The 24-year-old revealed her courageous plan to follow in her slain father’s footsteps and take the police entrance exam after hundreds of brother officers in dress blues and Mayor Daley honored her father in a somber ceremony.

“I think that’s something that he’d be very proud of, to see that I’m doing something I was born to do,” Jada Bailey said as she held her mother, Pamela’s, hand.

Her father’s murder — one of three police slayings in a two-month period last summer, during a brutal year that saw six CPD officers killed — remains unsolved, despite a cash reward of more than $130,000. But his daughter, a police cadet, said the outpouring of love and support from his colleagues in the wake of his death meant she never thought twice about applying to the police academy.

“If it were not for him, I would never have seen a different side of the police department,” she said. “The police department is not only there for public service, but they have offered my family so much gratitude. It’s much more than people see on the surface — it runs much deeper — the way they extended themselves to our family, the way they honored my father.”

Bailey was just weeks away from retirement and had just finished working the night shift protecting Mayor Daley’s home when a gunman fatally shot him as he cleaned his Buick Regal outside his home in the 7400 block of South Evans in the Park Manor neighborhood. His family moved out later that month.
Unbelievable, $130K reward and still no takers!

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