On September 19, 2015, the Village of Forest Park dedicated a memorial to four fallen Public Safety officers whose lives were cut short as a result of their chosen profession. The Memorial stands at Remembrance Park located at Randolph and Circle and is a fitting tribute to those individuals. A brief bio on each fallen hero follows as well as photos taken from the event. We welcome you to view the event here or visit it in person.
Police Officer Edward Pflaume :On December 13, 1925, Officer Pflaume was struck down by an armed robbery suspect known to police as “three-fingered” Jack White after the suspect robbed an ice-cream truck in Forest Park. The police converged on a roadhouse located out of town at 10159 Cermak where the suspect was holed up and Officer Pflaume was shot. White was a top Lieutenant of Al Capone and although he was apprehended at the time of the incident, and later convicted of the crime, the charges were eventually overturned, freeing White for both crimes.
Police Lieutenant Herman Ziebell: On September 30, 1946, Lt. Herman Ziebell was struck down while investigating a burglary in progress at the Louis Laubs Gas Station located at 7749 Roosevelt Road. The two offenders involved escaped from the scene of the crime while Lt. Ziebell’s partner raced to bring his dying partner to Speedway Hospital. Three weeks later, Charles Crosby and Henry Hitson were identified as the offenders and apprehended in New York. The shooter was found to be Charles Crosby who was later convicted and sentenced to death. For his part in the crime, Hitson was given a sentence of 199 years in prison.
Fire Captain Frank Schnurstein: On March 29, 1969, Captain Schnurstein suffered a fatal heart attack while rescuing tenants from an apartment fire at 7320 Madison. The fire was intense and ten people were carried to safety with many more led out through the stairways that fateful day. The Captain had already rescued one child and was going back to save more when the heart attack struck resulting in the Captain falling three stories off the rescue ladder. He was a 20 year veteran of the Fire Department.
Police Officer Michael Caulfield: On September 30, 1982, Rookie Officer Michael Caulfield was struck down during a shootout inside the Forest Park Police Department. The offender was in custody for a traffic related warrant when he grabbed another Police Officer’s service weapon from the officer’s holster and began shooting. Officer Caulfield’s Training Officer returned fire and killed the offender. During the exchange of gunfire, Officer Caulfield, who had joined the force three months prior, was fatally wounded. One other officer was shot in the foot and Officer Caulfield’s training officer sustained two gunshot wounds; one grazed his arm and the other struck him in his badge, preventing the bullet from penetrating his chest.
Photo Credit for the following photo sets goes to Jennifer Wolfe, Jennifer Wolfe Photography
Photo Credit for the following photo sets goes to Sgt. Christopher Chin, FPPD