A Chicago Police Department Calumet District captain died early Sunday after he was found unconscious in his police vehicle, police said.
About 12:10 a.m. Sunday, the 50-year-old police officer, who is a supervisor for the Calumet District, was found unconscious in his police car on Interstate 94 near the Stony Island feeder. He was taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:06 a.m.
He was identified as James Lavoy, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson seemed to get choked up when talking about Lavoy during an unrelated news conference Sunday afternoon. Johnson described Lavoy as a dedicated employee, a strong leader and a wonderful man.
"I pledge to you that I'll always be there for you and that I'll never forget him," Johnson said, directing the comment to Lavoy's family.
His death is under investigation, but the officer might have had a cardiac-related incident, according to police. There weren't any signs of trauma, Johnson said.
"From what we can tell, he passed away peacefully," Johnson said. "There's no sign of foul play, he was not attacked."
Johnson extended his condolences to Lavoy's family and stressed how the captain will be part of the city family forever.
"He was the type of role model and leader who valued public service, community and had many attributes many officers looked up to and strived to achieve," Johnson said. "From his days as a police officer to now, second-in-command in the 5th District, he worked many ranks, including tactical assignments, patrolling neighborhoods and working in every possible way to better himself as a police officer and to improve the service we provide to the city."
Johnson said in his career, Lavoy racked up 65 commendations, awards, ribbons and honorable mentions.
In the afternoon, friends and neighbors started an online campaign to get people to line up near Lavoy's home to honor him as his body traveled from the medical examiner's office. The enormous turnout became an end-of-watch procession.
"Throughout his time with CPD, Capt. Lavoy remained steadfast and true," Johnson said. "Part of Chicago was lost last night."
Chicago Tribune's Tony Briscoe contributed.
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