CHICAGO — Fallen officer Ella French was honored Wednesday with the dedication of a canine statue memorial at the district headquarters where she worked.
“Officers, family and friends to honor Ella on her 31st birthday,” said CPD communications director Tom Ahern in a tweet Wednesday. “A canine memorial will be prominently displayed in the 10th District. Ella loved animals.”
French was honored for her sacrifice when her police star was retired and enshrined into the superintendent’s honored star case during a ceremony earlier this month. It was also announced at the same time a Chicago police service dog was also named after French in honor of her service.
French was shot and killed in a struggle with a suspect during a traffic stop in West Englewood in August of 2021. Her partner on patrol that day—Carlos Yanez Jr.—suffered serious injuries but later recovered.
“I am grateful for all of the awards, support, memorials and events in her honor,” said French’s CPD partner, officer Joshua Blas, fighting back tears at her honored star case induction ceremony. “But what I really want is my friend back.”
Adopted as a foster child at the age of one, French leaves behind a mother and brother. Her mother told the Sun-Times she graduated from Downers Grove North High School, but also spent time at Wentworth Military Academy and College in Lexington, Missouri.
After spending one year at the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, French moved to the Chicago Police Department, where she started out with the 10th District before serving with the city’s Community Response Team.