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Hero Down: Chicago Heights PD Officer Gary Hibbs Dies After Collapsing During Arrest

Olympia Fields, IL – Chicago Heights Police Department (CHPD) Officer Gary Hibbs died in the line of duty on March 12, after suffering a heart attack while arresting a domestic violence suspect.

The 61-year-old officer responded to a report of two people fighting in a third-floor apartment on 14th Place on March 4 and was in the midst of arresting a combative individual when he suddenly collapsed and fell unconscious, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Officer Hibbs was rushed to Franciscan Health, where he was admitted into intensive care.

The 26-year veteran-of-the-force succumbed to his medical complications on March 12.

“The Chicago Heights Police Department has suffered an irreplaceable loss in Officer Hibbs’ passing,” CHPD Chief Thomas Rogers told the Chicago Sun-Times in a statement. “Officer Hibbs set the gold standard … as both a police professional and as a friend to us all in the department. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez said Officer Hibbs’ decades of service inspired the veteran officer’s own son to become a fellow CHPD officer five years ago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“Officer Hibbs’ passing is a grievous loss to both his family and to our city, and my heartfelt condolences are with his family at this moment,” Gonzalez told the paper.

In addition to his role as a police officer, Officer Hibbs also served his department as a trainer, firearms instructor, and armorer, according to his obituary.

He spent 14 years serving on the South Suburban Emergency Response Team, and was also a member of the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association.

In addition to his son, CHPD Officer James Hibbs, he also leaves behind his daughter, Esther, his four grandchildren, and his “dearest companion,” Melissa, according to his obituary.

Officer Hibbs is also survived by his mother, siblings, nieces, nephew, and many friends.

“Gary was the best kind of man, a man willing to give his life for others, and a man that loved his family more than words can ever describe,” the tribute read.

Officer Gibbs will be laid to rest on Saturday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Chicago Heights Police Department Officer Gary Hibbs, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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