Illinois State Police (ISP) Officials and the Warner family were joined by Governor JB Pritzker, Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, Illinois State Senators John Connor, Meg Loughran Cappel and Mike Hastings, Illinois State Representatives Larry Walsh, Jr., Dagmara Avelar, Natalie Manley, Will County Executive Jennifer Bertine Tarrant and Will County Government League Executive Director Hugh O’Hara to honor fallen Illinois State Trooper Warner at a ceremony commemorating the dedication of the Trooper Richard G. Warner Memorial Highway.
ISP Officials, along with Trooper Warner’s family members, unveiled the memorial sign, now located on Illinois State Route 53 in Lockport, Illinois, otherwise known as the Trooper Richard G. Warner Memorial Highway.
Trooper Warner was a United States Naval Reservist who served during World War II prior to joining ISP in 1957. He was assigned to District 5 after graduating from Cadet Class 49. During his time in District 5, he was certified as a Juvenile Officer and served as a leader in the District. In 1960, Warner received a special commendation from the United States Justice Department for locating foreign sailors who jumped from docked ships in the region. In 1968, Warner received commendations for leading the District and arresting seven car thieves.
At the time of his death in the line of duty, Trooper Warner was a 12-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, and he was survived by his wife and four children.
“With the establishment of the Trooper Richard G. Warner Memorial Highway, everyone who drives through this region will know his name – a fitting honor for a man who was a cornerstone of his community,” said Governor Pritzker. “And in another commitment to those who live to serve as we head into the Illinois State Police Centennial: I’m announcing today that Illinois will honor every state trooper who has paid the ultimate price in the line of duty with an official highway sign designation by December 31, 2022. It’s another way we can uphold our promise to serve those who served us.”
“Today’s dedication is about Trooper Warner’s amazing legacy. His bravery, exemplary military service, and the ultimate sacrifice he made will never be forgotten,” said Lt. Governor Stratton. “I would also like to recognize the extraordinary dedication of all our state troopers, veterans, and their families. Illinois is forever grateful for their service and for keeping our state safe.”
“The Illinois State Police save countless lives by protecting the citizens of Illinois through rigorous law enforcement and patrolling of the roadways of our state. Every day, they brave ever-present danger to assist a stranded motorist, to investigate gun, drug and human trafficking, to stop public corruption, to bring closure to devastated families, to stop dangerous driving and dangerous individuals,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Trooper Warner is an example of the dedication of the Illinois State Police and it’s fitting that we remember his sacrifice today.”
“More than a half century has passed since Trooper Wagner laid down his life for his community. The flame of his example burns as brightly now as it did then. And we need to do our part to keep that flame alive not only in gratitude for Trooper Warner and his family, but so that those who serve and protect us all over our great state know that the risks and sacrifices they have chosen to undertake are appreciated,” said Senator Connor (D-Joliet).
The resolution to dedicate the roadway was sponsored by State Senators John Connor, Meg Loughran Cappel and Illinois State Representatives Lawrence Walsh, Jr., Natalie Manley, and Dagmara Avelar. The dedication ceremony took place at the ISP District 5 in Lockport, Illinois.