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Lansing honors Officer Kenneth Novak 30 years after his death

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (April 8, 2022) – Last year, Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam named April 8 as Lansing Fallen Heroes Memorial Day, a day to honor the the men and women of Lansing who have passed away in the line of duty.

This year, Village of Lansing officials, Police officers, and others gathered at the corner of 172nd Street and Oak Avenue to honor the memory of Kenneth Novak, who was shot in the line of duty at that corner on April 8, 1992.

The Kenneth Novak memorial ceremony in photos

Kenneth Novak
Dozens of emergency vehicles and other cars formed a caravan before arriving at the ceremony to honor Ken Novak on April 8, 2022. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Kenneth Novak
Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips told the story of Officer Ken Novak’s death at the very location he was shot 30 years ago. Novak was stopping a suspicious vehicle when the driver’s accomplice raced out of some nearby woods and shot Novak. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Nearly 100 officers, friends, family, and others gathered at the corner of 172nd Street and Oak Avenue to remember Ken Novak on Friday, April 8. Novak was killed in the line of duty after being shot on this corner on April 8, 1992. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Father Bill McFarlane led the crowd in prayer. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Mayor Patty Eidam drew parallels between the Novak family’s loss and loss in her own family. “In conversations with Kenny’s family, I am certain that part of the reason they have remained strong is because of the ultimate support they have experienced here in Lansing,” she said. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Dozens of Lansing officers attended the ceremony to remember and honor Ken Novak on Lansing Fallen Heroes Memorial Day on April 8. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
kenneth Novak
Retired Sergeant Gerald Musser said Novak was sometimes called “Captain America,” because “he was everywhere.” Musser said Novak loved being a police officer, and enjoyed dog sitting for his friends and colleagues. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Ken’s sister Kathy Faucault made some comments, and read comments on behalf of her father, who was watching the ceremony remotely. Novak was 27 years old when he was killed. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Kenneth Novak
Former LPD Officer Gabe Barajas remembered his last interaction with Novak was a joking, lighthearted conversation. “That was the last time I was going to see him. He probably passed away within a half hour of that,” he said. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

kenneth novak
Ken Novak’s family laid a wreath at his memorial at 172nd Street and Oak Avenue. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Lansing Fallen Heroes Memorial Day occurs annually on April 8, the same day Officer Kenneth Novak was shot and killed while on duty in 1992. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.