CHICAGO — Slain Chicago police officer Ella French was among the service members in blue honored for their bravery in the face of danger Thursday night.

More than 50 Chicago police officers have been shot at while on duty this year, with more than a dozen struck by gunfire. Hundreds of officers, their families, and several supporters packed a ballroom at the UIC Forum to pay tribute to those who have put their lives on the line to serve the city. prestigious

“It’s really about the selflessness of giving back to the community,” said ceremony emcee Roe Conn.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation bestowed The Valor Award, the organization’s highest honor, on 11 Chicago police officers and two federal agents who were shot this year while on duty. One by one, honorees stepped onto the stage and received recognition for their bravery and courage.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown thanked the men and woman in blue. He offered the city’s gratitude and reflected on the idea of valor.

“Valor is more than bravery and courage. It goes a step beyond what’s expected of each and every one of us,” Brown said.   

Slain Chicago police officer Ella French – killed in the line of duty in August – was honored posthumously.   

“We will never forget Ella,” said Executive Director of the Chicago Police Memorial Fund Phil Cline.

French’s partner, Carlos Yanez Jr. – shot twice in the head during the Englewood-area traffic stop – also appeared via Facetime. The injured officer received a standing ovation from gatherers.  

In attendance Thursday night was Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had a request for the entire city.

“Let us pray for his recovery and that he and family find peace and comfort in this very difficult time,” she said.

The mayor also asked Chicagoans to give the officers who serve the city a small gesture. 

“A simple thank you to every officer that you see, across our city, on every beat, goes a long way in acknowledging their sacrifices,” she said.

The event was also a chance for the police memorial foundation to raise money for what officials say is one of the department’s greatest needs: bulletproof vests.