TINLEY PARK (WEEK) – The East Peoria police officer, who almost lost his life in February during a confrontation with a suspect, received a statewide honor Friday night for his bravery.
Jeffrey Bieber was given his award as recipient of the James J. Wade Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2021 during Friday evening’s Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police annual banquet in Tinley Park.
Officer Bieber suffered severe stab wounds before fatally shooting a 19-year old suspect February 2. Bieber responded to a domestic disturbance call and tracked down the man’s vehicle to a pharmacy parking lot when the driver got out.
Bieber noticed blood on Joshua Crites’ hand and offered medical assistance, but Crites reportedly pulled a knife and attacked the officer who suffered stab wounds to his head and heck, damaging nerves and hitting an artery. Bieber was able to fire his gun during the struggle, killing Crites.
East Peoria Police Chief Rich Brodrick nominated Bieber for the honor, praising the officer not only for his sacrifice during and after the incident, but for being an outstanding officer serving and protecting East Peoria citizens every day.
Bieber started his career working as a Tazewell County correctional officer in 2007. He also worked as a police officer in Hopedale and North Pekin before he was hired by East Peoria Police in 2012.
The award is named for the late Tinley Park Police Chief James J. Wade, who died in 1994.
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