Rookie Palatine police officer honored for saving man from drowning

Palatine police officer Shane Murray has only been on the force since August, but it hasn’t taken long for him to make an impression.

Murray received his department’s Lifesaving Award during Monday’s village council meeting for his bravery March 5, when he rescued a man from drowning in a pond.

The events leading to the rescue began about 1:58 a.m. that morning, when police responded to a report of a man yelling for help behind a building in the 700 block of East Constitution Drive.

Once on the scene, Murray and other Palatine officers began searching the buildings for the person in need.

“We had several concerned citizens calling in around the same location so we had an idea of where to go,” Murray said.

Murray eventually spotted the man crying for help while trying to tread water on the far end of a pond. Without hesitation, he removed his vest and duty belt and entered the cold water.

“As I was running up to him, he had gone under the surface of the water several times. So, it really was now or never,” Murray said.

He swam out to the man and brought him to shore. His actions allowed other officers to carry the man to a nearby squad car and provide aid until firefighters arrived

Murray shared credit Monday with the other officers who took part in the rescue.

“I was pretty confident that I had a good team out there with me,” he said. “We were getting out of that water one way or the other. So it was easy not to hesitate. It was mostly just get in and get it done.”

It was the first water rescue for Murray, who said his swimming is just passable — “I’m not definitely going to win any gold medals in the Olympics.”

But Murray, who served 12 years in the U.S. Army, including in Afghanistan, has learned water survival techniques.

The rescued man, who is in his 60s, was not at Monday’s awards ceremony.

From left, Palatine police Chief William Nord, former police Chief David Daigle, Officer Shane Murray, Deputy Chief Brian Growney and Deputy Chief Angelo Calanca, on the occasion of Murray’s receiving a Lifesaving Award at Monday’s village council meeting.
Steve Zalusky/

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