Retired Chicago Police Officer Jim Mullen was shot in the line of duty 14 years ago. He was paralyzed by the incident, but says that won't stop him from being a good alderman today.
In 1996, Jim Mullen was shot while answering a police call in Rogers Park. He was paralyzed from the neck down, and had to retire from the Chicago Police Department.
But Mullen says he still wants to serve and protect his neighbors, this time as their next alderman.
Mullen is the second police officer to enter the race to replace 41st Ward Ald. Brian Doherty, who's leaving to run for the Illinois Senate.
"Because I cannot be the police any longer, this is about as close as I can be to serving and protecting my neighbors, my co-workers, my friends," Mullen said. "I'm up to the job, and I think I'm going to be a great person for this spot."
Mullen officially announced his candidacy Sunday at the Chicago Kilt Run in the Norwood Park neighborhood.
Sgt. Richard Gonzalez, 47, was also shot in the line of duty, and is also running in the 41st Ward. He was shot in the shoulder 16 years ago when he intervened during a burglary. He shares a similar sentiment as Mullen about wanting to help his community.
"I've been serving the community as a Chicago police officer for the past 18 years. I believe now that the opportunity of running for alderman would enable me ... to give to my community," Gonzalez said.
Both men said there are too few officers on the streets, and they would both push to get more cops working the beat.
Both men also wished the other well in the race.
The Tribune reports that four others are running in the ward. They are Mary O'Connor, a Democratic party official in the ward who also owns a restaurant; Maurita Gavin, who works as the ward's administrative assistant; Jim Soreng, a consultant; and Michael Hannon, a mailroom equipment company manager.