Slain Police Commander's Star Retired, But Pain Still Raw For Colleagues

Steve Miller
September 26, 2018 - 6:00 am

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – It has been more than seven months since Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer was killed in the line of duty, and now his star has been retired and placed on the memorial wall at CPD headquarters.

After the ceremony retiring star No. 29, there were some personal reflections from those who knew Bauer.

His lifelong friend since the age of 7 was retired Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. John Escalante. He said he hasn’t made it to the cemetery yet, because he’s still devastated by the loss. Bauer, 53, was gunned down in a stairwell outside the Thompson Center by a suspect he was pursuing.

“I will, soon. But I'm not ready,” Escalante said Tuesday. “We should still be chasing each other around, so to speak."

Escalante served as interim superintendent after Garry McCarthy was fired – a turbulent time.

"The only person who worried about me more than my mom was Paul,” he said. “His texts, his emails, his popping in, his phone calls. During that stressful time, that's what got me through it."

Former Chicago police superintendent John Escalante (WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller)

Current Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said every time he looks at Bauer's widow and daughter, it "makes the whole day replay" -- the day Bauer was killed.

“It still feels like it was yesterday,” Johnson said.

Said Escalante: "I'm honored to be here. But I wish we weren't."