Sneed: Mr. President, our kids need you
By Michael Sneed September 20, 2013 9:42PM
Irma Ruiz leaves work in her police uniform. Ruiz was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 22, 1988. Photo provided by the Ruiz family
Updated: October 23, 2013 6:37AM
The snitch pitch. . .
Is President Barack Obama a solution to Chicago’s new title as the country’s murder capital?
Sneed is told former Police Superintendent Jody Weis feels Obama may be part of it.
◆ To wit: At a recent lecture to medical students at Loyola University, Weis reportedly said he thinks Obama could do more to help Chicago kids understand that keeping information from police will only further the shooting.
Weis said he spoke to children who told him hearing from Obama would help them overcome their fear of being snitches.
A visit from Obama to address the violence would not be the first time he or his wife have come to town to speak on the issue.
The president came to town in February and reflected on the slight difference in his childhood that kept him out of trouble.
“I had issues too when I was their age. I just had an environment that was a little more forgiving,” he said during his visit to Hyde Park Academy.
In a speech she gave in Chicago a few months after attending the funeral for Hadiya Pendleton this year, Michelle Obama said, “Hadiya Pendleton was me and I was her.”
The shooting continues. Will they be back?
A cop’s story. . .
It has occurred to me that police officers begin to die the day they take the job.
From the moment they take the oath of a hero, to serve and protect, they begin to pay the price for that vow; the thousand daily cuts received witnessing evil, degradation and horror while on the job.
And sometimes, they are murdered while doing their duty.
It’s little consolation to their families that their loved one died a hero; but what happens to their legacy — is what happens to the family they leave behind.
Ald. Ed Burke, a former Chicago cop, was honored last week for his civic leadership by the 100 Club, which funds and provides services for families of police officers, firemen and paramedics killed in the line of duty.
In his acceptance speech on Thursday, Burke chose the story of Police Officer Irma Ruiz, who was killed 25 years ago Sunday — not only as an example of her heroism, but the legacy of her family and how the 100 Club helped them.
Ruiz was shot to death at Moses Montefiore School while defending students against an attacker who had already killed three other people in a random shooting spree. Ruiz’s partner, Officer Greg Jaglowski, was wounded while exchanging gunfire with the shooter, who he ultimately killed.
In a recent letter to Burke, Irma Ruiz-Collins, the slain officer’s daughter, wrote about what happened after her mother died at age 40, leaving behind her husband and four kids.
Peter Ruiz, Irma’s husband, was 46 when she died. He worked at Ford Motor Co. and the family lived in Beverly. Their children, Peter Jr., 18, Irma, 16, John, 10, and Phillip, 8, were all in school.
“When my mother passed away, the 100 Club was very generous to my family and I. All of my parents bills were paid for, a 19 year mortgage was paid, we received free milk for a year and our educations were paid for from high school through college,” Ruiz-Collins writes.
All four children graduated from college. Peter Jr. is an Emmy-winning cameraman for Fox News, John works as a waiter, Phillip served three tours of duty as a Marine and is hoping to become a fireman and Irma manages residential high-rises.
Their father Peter is retired but still lives in Beverly, where he spends time with his family, which now includes six grandchildren.
“The passing of my mother truly is bittersweet, one that I wish didn’t happen,” Ruiz-Collins writes.
“I would have loved to have shared mine, my children’s and my entire families life with her. My family and I are thankful that there are good, kind and generous people and organizations like the 100 Club, and such as yourself.
“You all made our lives a little easier when we were experiencing the worst. For that we are grateful.”
Sneedlings. . .
Saturday’s birthdays: Bill Murray, 63; Jason Derulo, 24, and Stephen King, 66. . . Sunday’s birthdays: Freddy Williams, 108; Howard Moore, 41, and Joan Jett, 55.