August 14, 2008
Vol. 27 No. 20

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    McCarrel served 38 years on force

    Sgt. Randall K. “Mac” McCarrel, a Vietnam veteran and University Police officer for 38 years, passed away Saturday, July 26.

    Born Dec. 4, 1947, in Buffalo, N.Y., McCarrel held the rank of sergeant in both the U.S. Army Military Police and in the University Police Department, where he also earned recognition for bravery in his service.

    McCarrel enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 1968 and earned the Army Commendation Medal, before receiving an honorable discharge in November 1969. He then joined the University Police the following year.

    The late Mayor Harold Washington and members of the Chicago City Council honored McCarrel in 1985 with a unanimous resolution for heroic actions in which he had sustained severe injuries. McCarrel had single-handedly subdued a vicious dog during an attack on Oct. 18, 1984, in Hyde Park. The City Council declared McCarrel’s actions courageous and beyond the call of duty.

    Courage was only one of McCarrel’s character traits. “As a member of the University Police Department, his leadership and professional skills earned the respect, admiration and gratitude of people in every walk of life,” said Rudy Nimocks, Chief of Police. He added that McCarrel was one of the most professional police officers he had encountered in his 53-year law enforcement career, and that the example he set for others will be sorely missed.

    “Mac dedicated himself to the safety of our community for nearly four decades,” said Lee Caldwell, Deputy Chief of Field Services for the University Police Department, who served with McCarrel for almost 40 years. “People who knew him would likely say he was a quiet man who led by example and possessed a strong will and dedication to professionalism. He also was known as a person who had skill in conflict resolution. I will be forever proud to say he was my friend.”

    McCarrel was a 1965 graduate of Crete-Monee High School. He is survived by his wife Joyce, daughters Jennifer and Roberta, son Russell, father Robert, brother Kenny, sister Joy Firquaine and granddaughter Madyson.

    A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, in Bond Chapel, 1025 E. 58th St. A reception for family and friends will follow.

    McCarrel will be interred at 2 p.m. at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill.