For the Public

Belvidere Police Officer to Receive Law Enforcement Award from Illinois State Bar Association

Sara Anderson
Media Manager
(312) 920-4684
For Immediate Release: 
September 12, 2017

Officer Michelle Wilgus of the Belvidere Police Department will receive the ISBA Law Enforcement Award from the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) on September 18 during a Belvidere City Council meeting.

The ISBA Law Enforcement Award was created to recognize sworn law enforcement officers for conduct that promotes justice and to distinguish those individuals whose service to the public brings honor and respect to the entire criminal justice system. It recognizes those who excel in law enforcement.

Officer Wilgus, who was nominated for the award by Julie Johnson on behalf of the ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law, will be acknowledged for strengthening the relationship between the Belividere Police Department and the community by starting the ‘Badges with Books’ outreach program.

The program, which began when Officer Wilgus solicited book donations on social media to hand out to children as they got off the school bus, has transformed into a larger-scale police department endeavor. With the help of donations from individuals and the Belvidere Public Library, interested police officers are given books to carry in their patrol cars and hand out to the youths with whom they come into contact while on duty.

‘Badges with Books’ has helped change the negative perception of police officers. It exemplifies effective community policing in an age where the public and media focus on the conflict between the police and the populations they serve.

The award will be presented by Julie Johnson, a member of the ISBA Board of Governors and attorney at Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa in Chicago.

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