Urbana Police Officer Awarded Certificate Of Merit

Urbana police officer Nate Hills

Urbana police officer Nate Hills is the recipient of the Certificate of Merit for his work last June to identify a registered child sex offender and remove five children from a potentially dangerous situation.

Tiffany Jolley/Illinois Public Media

Urbana police officer Nate Hills has received the Certificate of Merit for his work last June identifying a registered sex offender with five children at a public park.

The officer says he was doing a routine patrol through Crystal Lake Park, when he ran a license plate of a vehicle belonging to 55-year old Duane Eric Edwards, who is a registered sex offender.

Hills noticed Edwards had 5 young children in the vehicle, and intervened immediately, leading to the arrest of Edwards and the safe removal of the children.

According to Hills, the special recognition came as a surprise. "It’s good, you know it’s unexpected. I'm just out there doing my job, and to be recognized for doing my job… means a lot.”

Hills is one of twenty-six people being recognized at the Urbana Police Deparrtment awards ceremony. Seven recipients were civilians.

In addition to awards, 44-year veteran John Lockard announced he will be retiring from the Urbana Police Department.

Lockard worked for the department as a sergeant as well as an evidence custodian.

Story source: WILL