ELBURN – Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith was honored at Monday night’s Village Board meeting with a “patriotic employer award.” Smith was nominated by Ben Pepich, a part-time police officer in Elburn who lauded Smith for being understanding that Pepich also is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“The chief has been very supportive of me working here,” said Pepich, adding that while he is “very proud to be an Elburn police officer,” he also was just as proud to be with the Marines.
The award was presented by Michael Holub of the Illinois Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. On the nomination, Pepich indicated “my employer is outwardly supportive on my military service, and I know that he supports me and my actions with the Marine Corps Reserve. Chief Smith is happy for me to learn valuable skills that will make me a better police officer for the organization. Chief Smith has made me feel secure and proud of being in the Marine Corps Reserve.”
Village President Dave Anderson said the village supports Smith and Pepich.
“We’re very proud,” Anderson said. “And I think, Steve, you should be very proud.”
Holub thanked Anderson for his support.
“When an employer recognizes and appreciates the value of service in the guard and reserve, it is a welcome show of support to our men and women in uniform,” he said.