When their walk home from school turned dangerous, two cadets from the Naval JROTC Academy at Taft High School did not hesitate to act. Rather, they put themselves in harm’s way to help a citizen and assist police in the capture of an armed robber.
As they walked home from school on a November afternoon, the cadets were approached by an elderly gentleman who explained that his home was being robbed. They immediately sprang into action, entering the man’s apartment building and encountering the suspect in a hallway. As he fled to his parked car, the cadets took photos on their cell phones of both the burglar and his license plate. These would later be shared with the CPD, who apprehended the suspect as he attempted to flee the scene.
“These two young men are established leaders who, when the need arose, quickly moved into action to help a stranger,” said Todd Connor, Chief of the Leadership Academies Network for CPS. “They are to be commended, along with their teachers, military instructors, and most importantly parents who have developed them into the young men they are today.”
At a ceremony that included their families, their JROTC peers, and the CPD detectives who worked on the case, Connor publicly thanked the two cadets and presented them with Meritorious Achievement Awards for their act of heroism.
“We’re so proud of these students for stepping up when they were needed,” said Taft principal Carolyn Rownd. “This is where their JROTC training is so important. It teaches them how to be leaders, how to have the courage of their convictions, and how to act in an emergency situation.”