Oak Forest mourns loss of veteran officer
By Nick Swedberg and Megan Platt Sun-Times News Media March 18, 2014 3:58PM
Officer Jim Morrissy / photo from Oak Forest police
Updated: April 20, 2014 6:28AM
A veteran Oak Forest police officer, who died Monday from injuries in a two-car crash while on duty, is being remembered as a kind father and a dedicated member of the community.
James Morrissy, 62, was on his way to assist another officer at a nonemergency situation about 2:15 p.m. and was turning left from 160th Street onto Cicero Avenue when a southbound vehicle hit the driver’s side of his squad car, according to police.
He died at 8:02 p.m. at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. An autopsy Tuesday found that Morrissy died of multiple injuries from the collision and ruled his death an accident, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Morrissy’s squad car emergency lights apparently were not on at the time of the crash, police said.
They said the driver of the vehicle that hit Morrissy’s car won’t be charged. He was treated for minor injuries at South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest.
Morrissy was motivated by a desire to help people, Kyle Morrissy, the oldest of his three sons, said, adding that he was always aware of the realities that come with having a police officer in the family.
“You never want to think that you’ll be the family this happens to,” Kyle, 28, said.
Morrissy served in the military and met his wife, Janice, while in college. The Oak Forest resident served as a police officer for more than 30 years.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be made, Kyle Morrissy said.
Nancy Glasner, who lives next door, remembered Morrissy as a quiet and helpful neighbor who would clear snow from her sidewalk with his snowblower. She said having a police officer in the neighborhood made them feel safer.
“We always a sense of security with him there,” Glasner said.
Oak Forest officials reacted to Morrissy’s death with sentiments about his commitment to the community.
“It is difficult to express our feelings for him,” Police Chief Greg Anderson said in a statement. “He was extremely dedicated and died while responding to assist another officer.”
Other city officials remembered Morrissy and his service to the city.
“He was a very active member of the community, and his death will affect a lot of people,” Fire Chief Terry Lipinski said.
Mayor Hank Kuspa concurred.
“I’ve known the Morrissys for many years,” he said. “They have a longstanding history in the community and are very involved. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family. They are just good people.”
A memorial will be planned for Morrissy, Kuspa said.
On Monday night, the mayor joined police officers to escort Morrissy’s body from Christ Medical Center to the medical examiner’s office in Chicago.
“He was loved and respected among fellow officers in the community,” Kuspa said. “There was an unbelievable showing of support (Monday) night.”