BHC police officer honored for chasing, apprehending suspect

Black Hawk College police sergeant Pat Clapper recently was honored for helping apprehend a suspect who led local law enforcement on a two-county chase that ultimately ended at the East Campus five miles south of Kewanee.

Sgt Pat Clapper and Fritz Larsen shaking hands
Sgt. Pat Clapper and BHC trustee Fritz Larsen

The morning of Nov. 9, Clapper was monitoring police radio traffic concerning an ongoing pursuit by local law enforcement officers near the East Campus. The occupants were armed and had thrown a drum magazine out of the vehicle during the pursuit.

As the pursuit began to head toward the East Campus, Clapper took the college’s squad car and stationed himself at the college entrance. The vehicle pursuit ended at the intersection of Illinois 78 and Black Hawk Road. One of the occupants fled the car and a foot pursuit ensued on college property. Clapper – with the assistance of a Kewanee officer – gave chase and took the suspect into custody.

“Sgt. Clapper’s quick response stopped an intruder from accessing campus facilities and committing unimaginable acts,” Shawn Cisna, BHC police chief, wrote in Clapper’s letter of recommendation.

Officers found a bullet-proof vest, approximately 365.7 grams of suspected cannabis and $1,890 in cash inside the vehicle. A witness saw the passenger throwing items from the fleeing vehicle. A Henry County deputy located a high-capacity magazine drum containing 52 9mm rounds, a semi-automatic 9mm pistol, 32 loose 9mm rounds and a broken, extended 9mm pistol magazine along the pursuit route.

For his actions, Clapper was presented with a Black Hawk College Coin of Excellence at the Dec. 15 BHC Board of Trustees meeting.

9 people standing in board room looking at camera
Sgt. Pat Clapper with Christian Jackson (BHC trustee); Shawn Cisna (BHC police chief);  Jon Looney, Fritz Larsen and Jeff Swan (BHC trustees); Tim Wynes (BHC president); and Steve Spivey and Doug Strand (BHC trustees)

“Saying thank you is such an important part of the fabric of a positive, progressive work culture,” said Fritz Larsen, BHC board chair.

“Our program was created to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a superior level of excellence in service, dedication, achievement, performance and/or accomplishment for or on behalf of Black Hawk College,” Larsen said.

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