Polo policeman honored for saving person from oncoming train

November 23, 2018

POLO – A Polo police officer who risked his life to save someone was given a commendation from the City Council.

Officer Tim Rockwood, 39, also got a standing ovation Monday after Mayor Doug Knapp presented him with a certificate of recognition.

Police Chief Kurt Cavanaugh read a letter from the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department praising Rockwood for saving a person who was planning to commit suicide by stepping in front of a train.

After hearing the 911 call, Rockwood immediately drove to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crossing nearest to the person’s home on Freeport Road. When he arrived, the train was only 30 to 40 yards east of the crossing and the person was hurrying toward the tracks.

With deputies enroute, Rockwood advised them of the situation and, despite the “great danger,” he crossed the tracks in front of the train and prevented the person from carrying out the plan, the letter said.

Cavanaugh also had high praise for Rockwood.

“Officer Rockwood willingly placed himself in a dangerous situation to protect and save the life of another, a stranger to him,” he said. “One cannot train for an incident like this. His actions showed the true character of who he is.”

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