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Two Burbank police officers were recently recognized for their outstanding service to the community. Detective Robert Michelson and Police Officer Jason Tudryn were named the department's 2015 Officers of the Year.
Michelson and Tudryn were each presented a plaque by Burbank Police Chief Richard Shore at the World Service Day Dinner hosted by the Burbank Lions Club last week.
Burbank police supervisors nominate deserving officers for the award each year based on their firsthand knowledge of the officer. Shore and his administrative staff then select the officers to be honored and forward the names to the Lions Club.
The Burbank Lions Club has honored at least one police officer every year since 1987.
“By the Lions Club doing this every year, it gives our department an opportunity to recognize the outstanding officers of that past year,” Divison Chief Mike Dudlo said. “Officers are recognized for individual efforts throughout the year in an honorable mention, but it takes special circumstances or a consistent work ethic to get the recognition as the Officer of the Year.”
Michelson was selected as 2015 Officer of the Year for his exceptional detective work in two complex cases involving endangered children.
Tudryn, who currently serves as Burbank’s K-9 officer, was selected as 2015 Officer of the Year for his productivity, outstanding work ethic, and proactive police work involving drug, alcohol and weapon offenses.
Division Chief Dudlo noted the following accomplishments of the two Officers of the Year:
Detective Robert Michelson had been diligently working on two cases assigned to him for several years.
The first was a Criminal Sexual Assault / Sexual Exploitation of a Child / Criminal Sexual Abuse Investigation. On August 8th 2012, two 13 year old females advised they were near Owens Park when they were approached by the offender who identified himself as “Fernando Gonzalez” and a photographer. The offender related to the girls they should be models and he would pay each of them to take their pictures. The girls subsequently took turns and accompanied the offender into his black SUV where the offender aided the girls in removing their clothes, fondled them, then took photos of them in various poses.
Detective Michelson was having a hard time identifying the offender despite having a name until he checked the Illinois State Police’ Sex Offender Registry on-line and identified a “Fernando Gonzalez” on the site living in Cicero Illinois. Based on this new information, Det. Michelson was eventually able to identify Gonzalez as the offender in this case.
In order to secure a conviction, Detective Michelson worked with many agencies to include: the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, Cicero Police Department, the North Riverside Police Department, Orland Park Police Department, the Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force, DCFS, Sprint Corporate Security, the Illinois Department of Employment Services and the Illinois Attorney General’s office who tried the case.
Based on Detective Michelson’s diligence and attention to detail, on October 1st, 2015, Gonzalez was found guilty, and sentenced to 20 years.
(see Burbank Sex Predator Sentenced to 20 Years for 2012 Assaults)
The second investigation (in conjunction with the above investigation) was a Parental Child Abduction. On June 6th 2013, an investigation of parental child abduction began when it was learned a mother removed her two children from their residence in Burbank without the permission or knowledge of the fathers of the children. The belief was the mother was traveling to Mexico in an attempt to get away from her husband (the father of one of the children).
Detective Michelson subsequently learned the mother and her children had relocated to Mexico in an attempt to start a new life.
In an attempt to recover the children and reunite them with their fathers, Detective Michelson worked with multiple agencies to include: the FBI, The Illinois States’ Attorney’s Office, DCFS, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, Mexican Authorities, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of State - Office of Children Affairs Division, and U.S. Customs.
On May 8th, 2015, as a result of Detective Michelson’s investigation, one of the fathers was able to take custody of his child in Mexico. Once they returned to the United States, it was learned the child was in good health and happy to be reunited with dad.
On May 25th, 2015, Detective Michelson arranged for the mother to return to the country through O’Hare Airport with the other child. This child was subsequently reunited with the father. The child was in good health and also happy to be reunited with dad.
The mother was placed into custody and charged with 2 counts of Child Abduction. The children remain in the custody of their fathers.
(see Children Safe After Alleged Parental Abduction)
Detective Michelson showed his professionalism and expertise in handling these extremely sensitive cases. Detective Michelson worked diligently with many agencies involved in the investigations. Detective Michelson spent much of his own time on these investigations despite actively working his normal detail as a School Resource Officer for School District 111. Detective Michelson has shown a dedication to the citizens of Burbank with his work as an Investigator, DARE Instructor and a School Resource Officer for the Burbank Police Department and the City of Burbank.
Officer Tudryn; who is a K9 handler, worked a total 155 days between January 1st, 2015 and October 27th, 2015.
During this time, Officer Tudryn wrote a total of 59 traffic tickets and 110 parking tickets.
Officer Tudryn wrote a total of 108 reports and had a total of 59 arrests during this period. Of those arrests, 27 were either drug or alcohol related. Of those 27 arrests, 5 were felony arrests and 4 of those arrests involved weapons offenses.
Officer Tudryn and K9 partner “Lary” have also assisted many area police departments in drug related cases leading to countless arrests.