Almost 39 years to the day after two Chicago police officers were gunned down while on foot patrol in the Cabrini-Green housing project, the street outside the nearby police station was dedicated to their memory Saturday.
Street signs bearing the names of Anthony Rizzato and James Severin were unveiled at a ceremony attended by Police Supt. Jody Weis, members of their families and a crowd of former colleagues.
Mary Schlaak, Severin's niece, told attendees outside the station at 1160 N. Larrabee Ave. that the memorial will make it clear the deaths still matter.
"Thank you for understanding that 39 years later this loss of two 18th District cops who died in the line of duty, it's still meaningful and still relevant," Schlaak said.
Rizzato and Severin were on patrol near Seward Park on July 17, 1970, as part of the department's "Walk & Talk" program they volunteered for, when shots rang out from a nearby high rise, fatally injuring both.
Two men were sentenced to 199 years for the murders and are still in prison.
Weis said the two officers were heroes and that Chicagopolice remain targets now.
"It's not that different today," Weis said at the ceremony. "People try to murder our officers. I don't know what that says about society, but it says our mission isn't done."
A memorial to Rizzato and Severin stood on the spot where they were shot, but had to be moved recently because of a construction project, according to Near North District Cmdr. Steve Georgas.
Retired Chicago Police tactical Sgt. Ed Wodnicki remembered the two as extremely brave officers at a time the Near North District was a dangerous place.
"It was a combat zone, and they were combatants," Wodnicki said.
from the Trib