Mike was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago in the Austin community as one of ten siblings. He attended Oak Park River Forest High School after moving to the suburbs. In 1978 Mike was hired by the City of Chicago as a civilian member in the Mass Transit Unit of the Chicago Police Department. A 1980 graduate of the Police Training Academy, Mike worked the past 37 years in various districts and units throughout the city until retirement.
In April of 1988 Mike responded to a domestic dispute that subsequently went terribly wrong, Mike was shot in the throat. This event took on an 11-month recuperation period, 4 ½ months of which was being hospitalized. In 1989 after being told he would never walk again, Mike returned to work in a limited duty capacity from the aftermath of the shooting that resulted with a permanent spinal cord injury.
During the ensuing years of physical therapy, Mike found the need to serve and help other officers who have been critically injured with one-on-one support. This led to the establishment of the “Police Survivors” of which Mike was a past president. This organization served officers throughout the State of Illinois as they recovered from life threatening on-duty injuries. During the 20 years the “Police Survivors” were active, Mike traveled on his own time from Carbondale IL to Rockford IL. Mike was recognized for these efforts and selected by the Chicago Crime Commission in 2009 and received their “Humanitarian Award” for the hundreds of hours he has spent with officers. Mike has crafted this personal experience with others to provide recruits with the tools needed to recognize and develop real life mental survival skills.
Mike earned a wide variety of career achievements. In 2010 he was selected as the “Police Officer of the Month” by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. In 1999 Mike received the “Good Scout Award” mentoring teenagers who were involved in the “Police Explorer Program”. In 1989 Mike was the first runner-up and received the City of Chicago certificate for the “Lambert Tree” award for outstanding bravery in the line of duty while at the same time received the Chicago Police Department’s “Blue Star” award.
Mike also made time in his off-duty hours to attend college during the evening. It took several years but Mike worked to earn a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master Degree in Public Safety Administration. Mike was a past Adjunct Professor for Lewis University in Romeoville IL. and instructed a variety of criminal justice classes throughout the academic calendar year to officers in their continuing education endeavors.
On December 1st, 2012 Mike was elected by his peers and took office at the Chicago Policemen’s Retirement and Benefit Fund as a trustee. Mike was reelected after retirement and continues to serve over 22,000 active and retired members.