JOLIET – A Joliet detective has been named as the state’s top cop by the VFW.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Cantigny Post 367 submitted its report to the state committee after Jeff German was named Officer of the Year in March. German was notified last week that he will receive a plaque Saturday from the state commander in Springfield.
“Winning the local award definitely felt great, so this is amazing,” German said. “I got a lot of assistance on these [cases], so I really feel this award goes to all of us.”
Post Commander Tony Arellano said German is the first officer recognized locally to also win the state award.
“We have a very deep appreciation for the work the Joliet Police Department contributes and responds to for the community. Because of them, we are all safer,” Arellano said.
German is an 11-year police officer who spent time as a patrol officer and tactical officer before becoming a detective last year.
He shared Cantigny Post Officer of the Year honors with his former partner Aaron Bandy in 2010.
German was assigned 180 cases to investigate last year and completed 110 of them with arrests or referrals to other police departments, Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said.
An investigation German started on his own that began with a search warrant he’d done as a tactical officer led to the discovery of a fraud ring that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from local banks.
That case resulted in 270 felony counts of financial crimes against 15 suspects.
“The state award is a significant honor considering all the accomplishments of other local winners, but it’s truly a testament to the quality of the work [German] has performed throughout the year,” Benton said.