Medal of Valor to Daws; more noise at Washy’s

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Pictured, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director Ed Wojcicki presents a Medal of Valor to Waterloo Police Department Sgt. Trin Daws for his heroic efforts following a March 2019 plane crash.

A police sergeant was honored during the Waterloo City Council meeting Monday night for his heroic efforts following a March 2019 plane crash.

Sgt. Trin Daws was presented a Medal of Valor by Ed Wojcicki, executive director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

On March 12, 2019, a 1976 Piper PA-32 Cherokee Lance flying from Alabama to Cahokia crashed near Daws’ home at the intersection of Gilmore Lake and Floraville roads. Daws, who was off-duty, helped save the 62-year-old pilot, his wife and their 4-year-old grandson.

In presenting the medal, Wojcicki said his association awards only a few of these each year. He said Daws’ efforts were a perfect example of the “classic hero’s journey.”

“He’s off-duty, he’s in his ordinary world,” Wojcicki begins. “There’s a plane crash. He leaves and enters the struggle willingly. There’s fuel, there’s danger. He saves the 4-year-old boy… this is a story of a police officer’s whole career.”

In other news from the meeting, Thomas Nitzsche returned on behalf of neighbors to Washy’s Saloon at 1324 Jamie Lane about continuing noise complaints due to live music being played outside the bar on weekends.

He first voiced concerns to the council in July.

“Unfortunately, it has not improved,” Nitzsche said Monday night.

Washy’s was cited for violating the noise ordinance in August. 

Nitzsche said a “toxic situation” has been created due to his speaking out about the issue.

“After they got the first citation, they told everyone in attendance at their concert that we had made a complaint and pointed at our residence, and I think that creates a really dangerous situation,” he said.

There was some confusion among city officials on interpreting the ordinance in regard to whether a non-city resident can file a complaint about loud noise in city limits. 

Nitzsche, who was joined by a couple of neighbors at the meeting, pointed out that while his family’s residence on Victor Street sits in the county, the vacant lot his family also owns is in the city.

Regardless, it was determined non-residents can also make noise complaints in the city.

Waterloo Police Chief Jeff Prosise said that prior to COVID, his department didn’t have issues with Washy’s due to the music being performed indoors.

Prosise said his officers will need to take a listen for themselves to determine if the music level needs to be addressed again. 

“We want to hear it and make sure it’s loud,” Prosise said.

Mayor Tom Smith agreed.

“We want the officer to hear the music when it’s the loudest,” Smith said.

Nitzsche said the bands are typically loudest from 10-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays or 4-5 p.m. on Sundays. 

The bands sometimes play after the designated stop time, he added.

Lastly, the council approved a facade grant application from State Bank of Waterloo for its property at 501 N. Market Street.

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