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  Portraits by Peter Bucks
Tributes to officers from the CPD Officer, Lodge 7 member and renowned artist
‘Here comes Campbell’
When Chicago Police Of- ficer Cedric Campbell began his career in the summer of 2001, he was elated to learn his field training officer (FTO) was one of the same officers who had inspired him from a young age.
“I felt like a kid in a candy store,” Campbell declared. “He was the same officer that I remember talking to in fourth grade, seeing him walking through the neigh- borhood, talking to him and admiring him. I was so hap- py [to see him again] and so proud.”
It was a full-circle mo- ment for Campbell.
His FTO was one of the biggest reasons why he be- lieved that he could help his community of Washington Park, where he patrolled for 18 years before he was transferred to the 20th Dis- trict.
Campbell’s fondest mem-
ories of childhood are when
officers like his FTO would
take time to talk to him and
say hello. He remembers feeling inspired by a family friend who was an officer, who would recount stories about the goodness of helping others.
Growing up in his neighborhood, Campbell often
saw how easy it was to fall into crime. But he was ea-
ger to follow a different path. To occupy his time, he practiced basketball, learned the trumpet and began boxing. His main focus was achieving his goal of becoming an officer. He had always admired the way officers proudly wore their uni- forms, and he eagerly awaited the day he could put on the badge.
And when he did, he became that same source of inspiration for others in the 2nd District, a community that loved and trust- ed him. He was often greeted by residents of the community as he patrolled the neighborhood. They stopped to smile and say hello.
“They knew me,” Campbell explained. “And it made me so happy to see smiles on their faces. And that someone from Washington Park could succeed, opposed to someone who grew
up in the neighborhood and then went to jail.”
One memorable moment for Campbell during his first week on the job was when he recognized someone he had challenged to a boxing match when he was a teen- ager. Surprisingly, he wasn’t given the negative response he thought he would get.
“He looked at me and laughed,” Campbell ex- plained. “He said, ‘Oh man, I always knew that you were going to be somebody com- ing out the hood.’”
It was a moment he knew he was respected not just as a person, but as an officer.
As the first officer in his family, Campbell has paved the way for other fami- ly members to follow. His motivation to succeed and dedication to the commu- nity are fueled by a promise he made to his late father to make the most out of each day.
It’s a promise he lives by. And he is inspired to make a difference in the communi-
ty by a piece of advice his FTO once imparted to him: Always keep your head on a swivel, always show peo- ple respect and always smile.
Whether he is having a good or bad day, Campbell’s smile is the first thing someone will notice about him. “As long as they see a smile on my face, then they know, ‘OK,
here comes Campbell.’ They know that I love to show up with my co-workers,” Campbell related.
Just as Campbell once admired officers from afar as a young child, he brings that same level of inspiration and hope to chil- dren and youths in the community. And he gives advice to the younger generation of officers, as his FTO once imparted advice to him.
“Number one, always show respect,” Campbell remarked. “Be kind to everyone. Always be willing to learn. And just enjoy the job, because you never know if it’s going to be your last mo- ments.”
Star #3407 20th District

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