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 In Memoriam
‘You always got the same Jim’
Officer Jim Svec glanced around at the downtown traffic. Suddenly, he saw a dark shadow crossing the road. Surpris- ingly, it was a rooster. Before he could catch it, he heard a small thud and a loud squawking sound as a car hit its leg. Without hesitation, Svec called for a fel- low officer to help him catch the roost- er, and together they cornered it. After triumphantly tying a string around its neck, Svec pronounced it his new pet. And he couldn’t wait to bring it home for his children.
When he walked into his house that day, he greeted one of his daughters, Samantha, who was 12 at the time. And when he told her to go outside, to her sur- prise there was the large rooster. When she questioned why he had a rooster, he simply replied, “Well, you said you want- ed a new pet.” Laughing, she remarked, “I didn’t say I wanted a rooster, maybe a dog.”
Chicago Police Officer James “Jim” Svec Jr. was beloved for his special brand of humor. That rooster quickly became a running joke among his five closest friends, who all went to the academy to- gether. Every time they bit into a chicken leg, they would quip, “Here’s the rooster.”
When Svec passed away on Dec. 8, 2021, after a 10-day battle with COVID, it brought a wave of shock and disbelief to his family and the entire Department.
Svec, who worked in Unit 544 as part of the mayor’s detail, was known for his quick-witted nature, his loyalty to his daughters and grandchildren and his love for the job. He joined the Chicago Police Department in 2002 purely out of his love and desire to serve Chicago resi- dents and was adorned in his career with seven honorable mentions, including a Unit Meritorious Performance Award in 2015.
Svec, 59, leaves behind his ex-wife and good friend, Beth, a CPD detective. He was a beloved father to daughters Sa- mantha, Chelsea and Sydney and grand- father to Brayden, Vivian and Madelyn.
“He did love the job, but it was more the camaraderie of it, the brotherhood that he developed with people,” Samantha reflected. “He could walk into a restau- rant and become friends with someone instantly. And it wasn’t just a temporary
From left, Chicago Police Officers John Poulos, Mark Ranallo and Jim Svec, who met at the acad- emy in 2001 and remained friends 21 years later.
    James Svec Jr.
 Chicago Police Officer
End of Watch: Dec. 8, 2021
friendship. Once he took you under his wing, you were his friend for life. Even at the academy, there’s not one person at all that could say that they don’t like my dad. Everybody loves my dad.”
Officer John Poulos, who had known Svec for 21 years after they first met at the academy, knew that side of him well. He saw Svec’s ability to bring others togeth- er, no matter what their background was. Svec treated everyone the same, whether they were one year on the job or 30 years on the job.
“You always got the same Jim,” Poulos remarked.
Poulos reflected on the camaraderie and friendship that bonded them. Pou- los shared that Svec was a true foodie who knew every type of restaurant in the City and was often seen bringing food to his bosses that helped him form lasting connections with them. It was one of those connections that enabled Poulos and Svec to stay in the academy after a teacher wanted to boot them out of class for a remark Poulos made.
Poulos and Svec, along with three oth- er officers, gravitated toward one anoth-
A story from the March 8, 2002, issue of the Chi- cago Sun-Times documented the events of Jim Svec rescuing a rooster that had wandered into downtown.
 Jim Svec was known for his humor and witty re-

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