CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer’s death has hit two communities especially hard: the South Side neighborhood where he lived and the North Side neighborhood he served.
Mourners have continued to gather in the two areas to leave flowers, notes and balloons and to pray.
In Bridgeport, where Cmdr. Bauer lived with his wife Erin and daughter Grace, neighbors are remembering a friendly man who was always helpful.
“It’s just a sad day — sad day for our neighborhood, sad day for the city. Sad time,” said Lori Serpico, who tied blue ribbons around trees to honor her neighbor.
Bridgeport, a neighborhood with many cops, Bauer was known as friendly and unassuming — a guy with an easy smile who picked up a shovel to dig out others last week.
“I heard during the past snowstorm he was out there. He was always helping people,” said Cook County Cmsr. John Daley.
In a interview with WCIU TV, Bauer described the appreciation he saw from those he served.
“I know in the media there’s a perception out there that there’s this wall, or a lot of mistrust with the police department. In my perspective, I’ve never been thanked more for my service in the last two to three years, total, compared to the previous 28 years.”
City crews worked to remove snow Wednesday morning from outside the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, where Bauer was a parishioner. It’s possible his funeral may be held at the church, but that has not yet been decided.
“We lost a great neighbor, a great public official and we’ll remember him in our prayers,” Daley said.
Bauer, a veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was fatally wounded Tuesday when he approached an armed suspect whose description had come over the police radio. Bauer was commander of the 18th Police District, Near North.