Buffalo Grove Police Department Announces Officer of the Year and Special Commendation Award
Officer Eric Sarat was honored as the ‘Buffalo Grove Police Officer of the Year 2021’ and Investigator Jaime Verduzco was awarded a Special Commendation at the March 7, 2022 Village Board meeting. Officer Sarat was recognized for his enthusiasm for his work, contributions to the Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) and his willingness to train fellow officers on new technology. Investigator Verduzco was honored for his significant contributions to both the Buffalo Grove Police Department and the Lake County Major Crime Task Force (LCMCTF).
Officer Sarat was sworn in as a Buffalo Grove Police Officer in March of 2018 and recently became a member of the Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT). His peers recognize him for consistently giving his all with a great passion for his daily work, especially traffic enforcement. Officer Sarat sets high goals for himself, wanting to be the top traffic law enforcer for the department. He is eager to take on and investigate traffic crashes, which helped him earn his position with MCAT. Officer Sarat’s enthusiasm and work ethic are recognized and highly valued by his peers and supervisors.
In addition, Officer Sarat helped the Buffalo Grove Police Department rise to many challenges in 2021. One such obstacle was the need to train officers in new workstation technology. Officer Sarat volunteered to familiarize himself with the new technology and train his peers, ensuring officers could confidently use the new technology while keeping themselves and the community safe.
Additionally, Investigator Jaime Verduzco, who has been a Buffalo Grove Police Officer since 2006, was awarded with a Special Commendation for Runner Up to Officer of the Year. Investigator Verduzco has successfully carried the caseload of the LCMCTF as well as multiple Buffalo Grove cases. During the fourth quarter of 2021, Investigator Verduzco assisted LCMCTF with several cases throughout Lake County. He experienced a total of nine activations or callouts for various homicides, including an officer involved shooting, and was instrumental in responding to the agencies where those incidents occurred.
While balancing his time with the task force, Investigator Verduzco, a veteran in his unit, stepped in to assist and advise his new colleagues as they learned the roles and responsibilities of an investigator. In addition, Investigator Verduzco’s Spanish translation skills have been an invaluable asset to the Investigations Unit, Patrol Unit and the LCMCTF.
“I am incredibly proud of these officers - their passion for their work is evident in their actions,” said Chief Casstevens. “They are both incredibly deserving of this recognition.”