Heroic Action Under Gunfire: Carpentersville Law Enforcers Earn Officer of The Year Honors

Heroic Action Under Gunfire: Carpentersville Law Enforcers Earn Officer of The Year Honors

Carpentersville police Sgt. Kevin Stankowitz (second from left) and officer Ian Abrahamsen (second from right) are the winners of the Louis Spuhler Award.

Two Carpentersville officers’ cool heads under fire have earned recognition as co-winners of Kane County’s top award for police work in 2019.

The Kane County Chiefs of Police Association, in partnership with the Batavia Moose Lodge #682 announced this week that the co-winners of the Louis Spuhler Award are Sgt. Kevin Stankowitz and officer Ian Abrahamsen of the Carpentersville Police Department.

Officer Ian Abrahamsen (at right) receives the Officer of The Year plaque.

The following is a summary of the incident, taken from the nomination letter submitted by Carpentersville police Chief Michael Kilbourne:

On June 18, 2019, Officer Ian Abrahamsen and Sgt. Kevin Stankowitz responded to the area of Wakefield Drive and Berkshire Circle after receiving information that a known gang member was present in the area and possibly in possession of a handgun.

Upon arrival, they identified the suspect, who began flashing gang signs at the officers’ unmarked squad as they drove by.

Stankowitz and Abrahamsen made a U-turn and drove toward the man, who drew a .38 special handgun from his waistband and opened fired on the officers.

Sgt. Kevin Stankowitz (at right) receives the Officer of The Year plaque.

He fired six times, striking the car with three bullets. One bullet went through the driver’s-side window, inches from striking the officers. The second bullet struck the lower driver’s side window, being stopped by the door on direct course toward the officers. The third bullet struck the front bumper.

In fear for their lives and the lives of innocent people on the residential street, Abrahamsen returned fire through the driver’s side window.

Stankowitz and Abrahamsen exited the vehicle to obtain better cover, and Abrahamsen again engaged the offender, who was still holding the handgun while fleeing on foot. The offender was struck two times.

The offender ran into a house, where Stankowitz and Abrahamsen got in areas of cover and gave commands for the offender to exit the house and surrender.

A short time later, the offender gave in to the commands and exited without any further confrontation.

The Louis Spuhler Award is named after a retired lieutenant from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office who approached the Batavia Moose Lodge with an idea to recognize the top police officer in the county. Spuhler died before he could see his idea put into action. The award was named in his honor.

This was the 43rd annual event.

“All too often, similar violent situations sadly end with law enforcement officers losing their lives,” Kilbourne said. “Sergeant Kevin Stankowitz and Officer Ian Abrahamsen acted the way they were trained in a profession they proudly serve. The focus of the officers ensured only one outcome, to protect those we serve and go home at the end of their shift to their families.”

The Batavia Moose presented a departmental recognition award to the Aurora Police Department for their response to the Henry Pratt Company shooting on Feb. 15, 2019.

The plaque was inscribed with, “In recognition for your bravery, courage, and response to the shooting at the Henry Pratt Co. on February 15, 2009. Presented by the Batavia Moose Lodge #682 and the Kane County Chiefs of Police Assocation.”

The event was held at the Riverside Receptions in Geneva. Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly was the keynote speaker. Kelly spoke of officer wellness and the need to get help.

The 2019 Departmental Recognition Award went to the Aurora Police Department for its response to the Henry Pratt Company shooting on Feb. 15, 2019.

Additional nominees for this year include:

West Dundee Sergeant Daniel Haines
Bartlett Detective Eric Kistler
Elgin Detective Andrew Houghton
Kane County Sheriff Deputy Luke Weston
Aurora Officer Ray Lopez
Investigator Jen Hillgoth
St Charles Officer Jose Jacobo
ISP District 2 Sergeant Boguslaw Kramarz
ISP District 15 Sergeant Kevin Kelliher
Geneva Sergeant Eli Rivera

SOURCE: Kane County Chiefs of Police Association news release