Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Stanley W. Talbot lived to serve others, whether he was on-duty or off-duty.
“Stan could never say no to anyone in need,” said Dan Roach, his friend and former state police colleague. “When he worked in patrol, he would often help out a stranded motorist by paying for a meal, some gasoline and even once for a new tire. Stan personified the long-standing motto of the Illinois State Police: integrity service, and pride.”
Talbot, 50, of rural Cambridge, Illinois, was killed on June 23, 2001, while working a roadside checkpoint at the foot of the Centennial Bridge in Rock Island.
Motorist Jonathan Corey Posey, who was stopped at the checkpoint, fled with Talbot hanging onto the side of the car, according to Quad-City Times archives. Talbot fell from the vehicle a few blocks later. His body was run over by another officer who had pursued Posey's vehicle, according to the archives.
Posey was later convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Sixteen years after his death, family, friends, law enforcement, state and local officials and community members gathered Monday on the lawn of the Rock Island County Courthouse to dedicate and officially rename the bridge the "Master Sgt. Stanley Talbot Memorial Bridge.”
Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz said that although he did not know Talbot, he understood the “contents of his character and the type of person he was.”
“There is a common bond that goes through all of us, anybody that raises their right hand and puts on a badge," he said. "Your job is to take care of the people. He was willing to trade his life to save others, and he did.”
A resolution to dedicate the bridge was sponsored by Sens. Neil Anderson, R-Rock Island, Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, and Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, and Rep. Daniel Beiser, D-Alton, and passed by the Illinois General Assembly earlier this year.
"Master Sergeant Stanley Talbot was a man who spent his life serving our community with integrity and honor," Anderson said. "This bridge serves as a visible reminder of his sacrifice, but his true legacy will live on through his children who followed their father into law enforcement.”
Talbot’s daughter, Dyan, is a master sergeant with the state police and his son, Doug, is a police officer in Collinsville, Illinois.
Doug Talbot said the bridge dedication was a great tribute to his father.
“Even after 16 years that he’s been gone, people care enough to come together to remember him, to put this tremendous event together.”
Roach, deputy chief of the Schaumburg (Illinois) Police Department and a retired state police captain, said Talbot had planned to retire the year he died.
“He literally served until the very end,” he said. “I find it fitting that the Centennial Bridge, which serves many thousands of people every year, is being dedicated in honor of this humble and loyal public servant.”
Doug Talbot said his father would be “very surprised and humble” by the memorial.
“He never went to work looking for attention or awards or anything like that,” he said. “He did what he thought was right, day in and day out, and I think he would be very humble by this showing.”
Talbot attended the Illinois State Police Academy in 1975 and first worked for state police District 5 in Joliet before being transferred to District 7 in East Moline.