On July 14, 2005, officer Tim Gramins was a fresh-faced rookie. Less than two weeks on the force, Gramins responded to a high-profile accident at the intersection of Dempster Street and Niles Center Road. Jeanette Sliwinski, a then 23-year-old model, attempted to take her own life by driving her Ford Mustang on Dempster Street at around 90 mph.
She ultimately crashed her vehicle into a car carrying three musicians from Chicago. Only Sliwinski survived the crash.
Gramins was the first-responding officer that day.
In August 2008, Gramins was involved in a shoot out with a bank robber. Gramins was in pursuit of the offender when the suspect suddenly stopped his vehicle on a residential side street. The subject then began firing, his first four shots hitting the windshield of Gramins' squad car.
In the end, Gramins fatally shot and killed the suspect.
The following year, he was named Illinois State Officer of the Year and was also invited to the White House for his heroism, during the 2008 shoot out.
In a bizarre way, Gramins has a knack for being at the wrong place at the right time.
In July 2012, Gramins was hospitalized after arresting a 19-year-old Skokie man for pot possession. The suspect, Tyreace Brown, punched Gramins in the right side of the head as other officers attempted to detain him.
While police called for backup, Brown continued to resist arrest, and knocked Gramins - along with himself - off a flight of cement stairs. Despite injuring his hand in the fall, Gramins continued to detain the offender with other officers.
On Tuesday, Gramins’ service to the community was recognized. The officer is now a sergeant with the Skokie Police Department.
“Tim Gramins is one of the bravest men to wear a badge,” said Skokie mayor George Van Dusen at Tuesday’s village board meeting. “And we thank you for your continued service to the community.”