The passing of former Mayor Eugene Sawyer brought back the most heart warming memories for my wife the night I was shot in the throat while at this moment it was also the most terrorizing time for her and family members. April 24th, 1988 after I responded to a domestic call in the 016th district, I was ambushed and subsequently shot in the throat. Putting the drama aside, I learned several weeks later from my wife that this night, Mayor Sawyer arrived at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, waited outside as the exempts who showed up were inside giving family members their business cards like they were a piece of candy, then headed back home.
Mayor Sawyer then sat with my wife, apologized for arriving late because he was not familiar with the northwest side and stayed with her the entire night into the the following morning. My wife Mary had related that he was one of the most genuine, kindest person she had the privilege to be with. Two days later, flowers arrived from the Mayor with a note of kind words.
Through my next four months in the hospital, Mayor Sawyer kept tabs on how I was progressing. Back in '88 City Counsel was up for grabs at times, but Sawyer was a class act as I recalled news reports back then and finally six months later met him in person as I sat in a wheelchair. Our conversation wasn't about me, it was me thanking him for keeping my wife and two daughters who were 1 1/2 and 3 years old at the time under his watchful eye.
The purpose of me posting this note is the hope that perhaps all of us should take a little of Mayor Sawyer's charm, kindness, honesty and class with us each day when we leave the house heading off to work or out on your days off. Say what you will about him, but I'm telling you first hand, Sawyer respected the police and sadly, you just don't see it now a days because "it's all about me" within our ranks from top to bottom.
Mike Lappe 016/120
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