Officer Wortham's Star Retired - NBC Chicago

Officer Wortham's Star Retired

Parents hope son's star is the last put in the cabinet at police HQ



    As his police star is retired, the parents of slain Chicago officer Thomas Wortham pleaded Tuesday for a more civil society in hopes "there would never be another star placed in that cabinet." (Published Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011)

    Fallen police officer Thomas Wortham IV was honored Tuesday by the Chicago Police Department.
    The 30-year-old probationary officer was shot and killed on May 19 when several assailants attempted to steal his motorcycle outside his family’s South Side home. Wortham’s father, a retired Chicago Police officer, shot and killed two of the attackers.

    Following the ceremony, Wortham's father, Thomas Wortham III, said Chicagoans and the nation as a whole need to consider those who are committing acts of violence.

    "We need to think about the people who are down and out," he said.  "We can no longer ignore those people because they will continue to kill us."

    Police Superintendent Jody Weis presided over Tuesday's ceremony.

    "He was truly a born leader," Mayor Richard Daley told the assembled crowd.  "He is an example of an ideal police officer here in our great city."

    The officer's star, number 6181, joins those of 477 other police officers in a case of honored heroes in the lobby of police headquarters.

    "This is too much killing," Wortham's father said.  "We would like to say at this point, that we would hope that there would never be another star placed in that cabinet."

    Wortham was a member of the Wisconsin National Guard who served two tours of duty in Iraq. He joined the Chicago Police Department in 2007. His family has lived in the South Side Chatham neigborhood for about 30 years, where they have been active in efforts to curb street violence.

    Before his tragic death, the younger Wortham talked to the Chicago Tribune about his family’s efforts to end the senseless violence in their neighborhood.

    "When people think of the South Side of Chicago, they think violence. In Chatham, that's not what we see. It's happened, and we're going to fix it, so it doesn't happen again," he said in an interview.