An ISBA Law Enforcement Award was presented May 1 to John Paul Merrifield, an Illinois state trooper from Collinsville, during the Madison County Bar Association's Law Day luncheon in Edwardsville.
Belleville attorney Jack Carey, a member of the ISBA Board of Governors, presented the award to Merrifield for his unique methods of enhancing the image of law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
A 1995 graduate of the Illinois State Police Academy who has been with the state police since 1994, Merrifield also has been a counselor in Texas at a children's rehabilitation hospital and a psychiatric hospital.He has a degree in sociology from Missouri Southern State College. After graduation, he played pro ball in Israel, Portugal and Spain before being recruited for the Magicians by legendary Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes.He has toured all 50 states plus USO ventures to entertain troops in Africa, Germany and Iceland. During his basketball travels, Merrifield often helped local officers affiliated with DARE in student assemblies to warn of the hazards of using drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and to explain the importance of obtaining a good education. Since earning the rank of trooper, Merrifield has taken courses in search and seizure, violent crime tracking and linking, and motor carrier safety.He attended the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Instructor Development Program, and is an instructor for the Regional Institute for Community Policing. A native of Greenville in Bond County, Merrifield was nominated for the ISBA award by 3rd Circuit Judge John D. Knight as a constant promoter of the state police and a positive law enforcement role model whose efforts help break down barriers between youths and police officers.
Merrifield also received a Respect for Law Award a year ago from the Westside Optimists Club in Belleville. Moonlight cruise slated June 22 ISBA members and guests who attend the Annual Meeting this month are invited to sail Lake Geneva on a moonlight cruise from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 22, aboard the "Lady of the Lake," with appetizers, cash bar and entertainment. The cruise from the Fontana Municipal Pier is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division, but open to all adults.The fee is $25 plus the Annual Meeting registration of $30 if paid before June 14 ($25 plus $60 after that date).
Guide Right at East St. Louis Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
Illinois State Trooper John Merrifield was the speaker at the October meeting.Trooper Merrifield talked to the kids about law enforcement, making intelligent decisions, and the importance of education.Trooper Merrifield was excellent.He captured the attention of all the Kappa Leaguers from the moment he stepped into the room- easy to understand why because Trooper Merrifield stands 6 foot 6 inches tall.
Trooper Merrifield also held young men's attention with this message.He gave the young men some very good advice that will hopefully make an impact on their lives.
After his message, Trooper Merrifield dazzled the young men with his basketball wizardry.He used to be a member of an organization called the Harlem Wizards, which is similar to the Harlem Globetrotters.Before he left Trooper Merrifield also extended an invitation to us bring the Kappa Leaguers up to Springfield, IL to see the state trooper academy.
Illinois State Trooper John Merrifield was the guest speaker at the March meeting on March 14, 2003.Trooper Merrifield spoke to the Kappa Leaguers about life choices, violence and its consequences, life as a law enforcement professional, and he also demonstrated some basketball tricks.He is a former• member of the Harlem Wizards, a traveling, entertainment basketball team similar to the Harlem Globetrotters.
The young men listened intently to his speech and were thrilled by the basketball demonstrations.
Brother Wharton also spoke briefly to the young men.
The Guide Right Committee would like to thank Brother Wharton for inviting Trooper Merrifield to speak to the Kappa Leaguers.
While wowing 140 students with basketball tricks, John Merrifield managed to intertwine a message about making education a top priority in life and staying away from drugs and alcohol.
Merrifield, an Illinois State Police Trooper and a 12-year member of the Harlem All-Stars, said the group's popularity with youngsters hinges on how players present their message.
"You need a hook," said Merrifield, who played for Charlie Spoonhour (who later coached at Southwest Missouri State and Saint Louis University and is now at Nevada-Las Vegas) during his junior college days in Burlington, Iowa.
One of the assembly's highlights came when Merrifield began spinning a ball on his finger and put it on an ink pen.
While the ball was spinning on the ink pen, he handed the pen to first-grader Erica Robbins, who held the pen without dropping the spinning ball.
Merrifield was joined by first-year Harlem All-Star Alden Smith and Quincy Police Officer Gil Feld, who has been with the Quincy Regional Crime Stoppers since 1997.
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