The National Football League has gone to the playoffs, but just before the season ended for the Chicago Bears, Park Ridge police officers were celebrated in a unique way for the last home game of the season.
Ruth Hahn, a sergeant with the Park Ridge Police Department and member of the department’s honor guard, said she reached out to all of the city’s major sports teams to ask if Park Ridge could present their flag and colors before the game started. When the Bears said yes, Hahn said it was quite the honor.
“It put our police department and our city in a positive light for once,” said Hahn. “My goal is to do one big thing a year, just to boost camaraderie,” she said, adding that the honor guard was at a Chicago Dogs baseball game last year in Rosemont.
Hahn said the honor guard has six members, but only four could make it to the big game, where the Bears beat the Falcons 37-17. The Bears ended last in their division, but Hahn said it was cool for the honor guard to be on the national scale.
Hahn said the honor guard was able to get their tickets provided by the Bears, and that the guard invited 33 other members of the Park Ridge police department, as well as Mayor Marty Maloney and Chamber of Commerce President Jacqueline Matthews, who paid out of pocket for their seats in the VIP Skydeck box.
“I chose the (Skydeck) for a reason. It was nice as opposed to getting like seats together,” said Matthews. “You know, you have a row of 33 people or, you know, three rows of 10 (people), and you’re kind of stuck talking to the same people.” Matthews added that she was able to get a 5% discount for the group.
Matthews said she attended the game with the police department because the department, the caaity and chamber of commerce have a great relationship. “We’re super grateful for them,” said Matthews.
“We couldn’t have our business community be as successful without (the police department), right?” Matthews said.