Stanley: Joliet officer ‘one of the best’
By Brian Stanley Life of Brianemail@example.com March 23, 2013 8:28PM
Joliet police officer Jack Loy (right) investigates a traffic crash on Larkin Avenue in May 1994. | File photo
Updated: April 25, 2013 7:13AM
Often the best stories are the ones the journalist wasn’t looking for.
And while I didn’t expect to hear it, at the end I wasn’t surprised at all.
March 28 marks the first anniversary of Jack Loy’s passing. When Jack retired from the Joliet Police Department in 1995 he got a part-time job in the computer department at Best Buy. Among his new co-workers was a teenager who had no expectations of ever writing columns for the local newspaper.
Having already worked a full career, Jack was easygoing and provided a good example of how to handle yourself to his younger colleagues.
I wrote about what I’d learned from his humor and concern for others soon after Jack died but wouldn’t have used him as a subject again if I hadn’t met Ira.
I was looking into a story that had nothing to do with Jack, the cops or computers. But after talking about dozens of other things, Ira mentioned she’d appreciated that column.
For someone willing to talk to a reporter, Ira is pretty adamant about avoiding public attention, but she agreed having another example of Jack’s character made her story worth sharing.
Ira worked in downtown Joliet in the early 1980s, where she got to know Jack and other cops, as well as a waitress at an ice cream parlor.
One winter night, Ira looked at the corner of Ottawa and Clinton streets to see the waitress had passed out on the sidewalk. After the shop was cleaned that night it appeared instead of chocolate sauce and whipped cream she’d spent her shift emptying a bottle of Southern Comfort.
Looking around, Ira saw Jack nearby and asked the off-duty cop for help. After Jack and Ira determined the woman only needed to sleep it off somewhere besides the street, they considered several options.
Luckily the waitress hadn’t been able to get her car started but they weren’t able to either. Moving her to Ira’s car also wasn’t going to happen.
“You can just describe her as short and wide,” Ira told me.
Finally, Jack thought of the most effective solution. He went back into the ice cream parlor and got on the phone.
“I can’t imagine he was authorized (to do so), but he called and a few minutes later a young officer pulled up with the big paddywagon,” Ira said.
Jack and some other men put the waitress in the back before he told Ira to get in the passenger seat.
“I knew where she lived so we took her home in the paddywagon. He took her shoulders and I took her feet and we carried her into her living room,” she recalled.
Though Ira also recalls the drunken waitress shifted as she was being moved and ended up knocking her head into the coffee table.
“She didn’t even stop snoring so we put her on the couch and threw her keys on the table which was still able to stand on three legs,” Ira said.
The ride back downtown was Ira’s last time in a police vehicle. She believes Jack brought her along so another woman was with the waitress the whole time.
“He was such a gentleman,” she said. “One of the best.”