Photo: Officer Del W. Pearson holds his newly-issued police badge (with the number 6254 that was given to his father, Officer Delphys W. Pearson Jr.), at his home on the far South Side Wednesday, March 28, 2012, in Chicago. The younger Pearson's badge number was previously 16462. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
The Pearson Case ...
It’s called Chicago Police star #6254.
It also was part of the tonic enabling a critically wounded Chicago police officer, Del Pearson, to go home to his family Tuesday.
◆To wit: Top cop Garry McCarthy may snag headlines for his tireless anti-street gang work, but his quiet work behind the crime scene — especially in the case of Pearson — deserves a big hand.
◆Translation: Sneed hears McCarthy brought a special gift to Pearson, who was nearly killed March 19 when he was shot in the chest just above his bulletproof vest.
◆Star Power: Several days before Pearson’s release from Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn Wednesday, McCarthy brought Pearson his father’s old police star, which now will be his active duty star (Chicago police have stars, not badges). It was on Pearson’s arm when he left the hospital.
◆Mac Attack: “For years Pearson had been trying to get it, but the star his dad wore had been recirculated to other officers over the years and his efforts had failed,” said a source. “When the Police Superintendent (McCarthy) found out about it, he tracked it down and gave it to Pearson. It worked wonders on how he felt.”
◆Background: “My dad worked for the Chicago Police department for 29 years before he retired,” Pearson told Sneed. “We even worked in the same South Chicago district. But he died before I graduated from the police academy. I attempted to get my dad’s badge number for ten years, but it didn’t work out. It was issued to someone else.”
◆Mom to the rescue: “While I was in surgery, it was my mother who told Superintendent McCarthy about my dad and the star and the effort I had put into trying to retrieve it,” Pearson told Sneed.
◆Finale: “When Superintendent McCarthy presented it to me it was very emotional,” said Pearson. “What can I say. It was a great thing. It was just what I needed.”
◆The kicker: What goes around comes around. Sneed has learned when McCarthy was a New York police officer, he was given the great gift of his father’s NYPD shield.