Fallen Officer Among Other Stars

A special ceremony was held Tuesday to retire the badge of a fallen Chicago police officer.

Fellow Chicago Police officers, family members and friends gathered at the Chicago Police Headquarters for an honorary tribute to Thomas Wortham IV. The 30-year old Chicago police officer and U.S. soldier was shot and killed last May when a group of four men tried to steal his motorcycle in the Chatham neighborhood.

His badge is the 478th star that was placed in the honored star case amongst other officers, men and women, who have had their lives taken.

“Tom lived with a purpose,”  said Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis, about the fallen officer who is also said to have taken great pride in his short career as an officer in the Englewood district.

“We remain shaken to the core by the tragic events that took place that day,” said Weis as he stood before Worthams’ mother, sister and father, Thomas Wortham III, a retired police sergeant who tried to aid his son at the time of the tragedy.

Mayor Daley said during the special service that Wortham IV had the “energy and commitment” that it took to be an officer and that not only was is about paying tribute to  Wortham IV but to his family as well. “We ensure that Officer Thomas Wortham will have a lasting place in the Chicago Police Department,” said Daley.

After the opening words, Supt. Weis presented the family with the star before they were escorted to the wall where his star was placed.

Members of the Gold Star family, including the Valadez family, who lost their son, also from the Englewood district, in the line of duty in 2009 were in attendance and Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), who is a close friend of the family.

Wortham IV had just finished his second tour of duty in Iraq with the Army National Guard just weeks before his shooting death.

Three of the four men have been charged in connection to his murder, the fourth suspect was shot and killed at the time of the incident by Wortham’s father.

He was one of six police officers killed in 2010.