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Hometown cop named Manhattan Citizen of Year

Hometown Police Sgt. Robert Dilling is Manhattan Chamber Commerce's Citizen Year.  |  Supplied photo

Hometown Police Sgt. Robert Dilling is the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year. | Supplied photo

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Updated: March 28, 2014 7:51AM



The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Citizen of the Year is a police officer who has been shot twice and stabbed two other times while on police duty and working part-time as a Minuteman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

However, it was Robert Dilling’s volunteerism that earned the village resident, now a Hometown police sergeant, the award.

Dilling is a former Manhattan officer who grew up on in St. Ethelreda Parish on Chicago’s Southwest Side. He began his career as a firefighter in the Roberts Park Fire Protection District in 1975, then joined the Willow Springs police force three years later.

He said he was drawn to a law enforcement career because “my father was a Chicago copper and my grandfather was a Chicago copper.”

Dilling volunteers as a lieutenant for Manhattan Emergency Management Services and was integral in assisting during the Bruns Road tornado damage in November, Mayor Jamie Doyle said. Dilling also was on the committee to plan the new village hall, runs a neighborhood watch program and is a certified evidence technician and emergency medical technician.

He was an easy choice as citizen of the year, said village Trustee Mike Adriensen, who also serves on the chamber of commerce’s board.

“When citizen of the year came up, I thought of Bob Dilling,” Adriensen said. “He never gets the recognition he should.”

Dilling also has served on the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and worked as a crowd control manager at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

He’s also fought cancer three times. On the day that he learned of the Citizen of the Year award, he also found out that his leukemia is in remission. He already has survived kidney cancer in 2004 and skin cancer in 2007.

Dilling has three children living in Chicago and two grandchildren.

Erin Gallagher



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