CHAMPAIGN, Ill (WCIA)– The City of Champaign recognized police officer Jeffrey Creel Wednesday for the courage and honor he showed on a day the city will never forget.
Officer Creel was the first of dozens to be recognized during the city’s annual awards ceremony.
The award recognized his actions on May 19. That morning, Creel responded to a call with his partner officer Chris Oberheim. It was something they did every day, but that morning, officer Oberheim was shot and killed while doing his job.
It’s not the loss of his partner that earned Creel the “Personal Integrity” Award. City Manager Dorothy David said, instead, it’s the bravery he showed in life-threatening danger. Creel didn’t flee when his partner fell, he ran to Oberheim’s aid.
“You were there with your courage and your heroism, there to care for your friend and your colleague through a tragic incident that we know will impact you for the rest of your life,” David said, speaking directly to Creel.
She said Creel could’ve earned every award given out and that he stands for everything it means to be a public servant.
Creel still works for the city these days. The police department tells us he’s not back to patrolling, adding, he’s doing well.
The Champaign Fire and Police Departments and METCAD were also awarded for their heroic actions during a house fire in April. The Neighborhood Services Department was awarded for teamwork when putting together the “Lovin’ U Neighborhood Tour”, and the Champaign Police SWAT team was awarded for its actions following a recent spike in crime.
Several other people and agencies were recognized during the virtual ceremony.