OGLESBY — The family of former Peru Police Sgt. Jason Brokaw recently created a criminal justice scholarship in his memory.
Sgt. Brokaw’s widow, Deborah, daughter Hayleigh and son Calvin donated $15,000 to the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation to create the Jason A. Brokaw Memorial Scholarship for students pursuing criminal justice careers. Also contributing to the endowment are his parents George and Barbara Robinson of Granville.
The $500 scholarship will be given annually beginning in September.
Sgt. Brokaw died Aug. 8 following a courageous battle with transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord. The illness, which caused paralysis, forced his retirement in 2016.
Hired by Peru in 2008, officer Brokaw had worked previously at the Spring Valley Police Department, Bureau County Sheriff’s Office and Granville Police Department. He also worked for the village of Ladd and DePue.
“All through his career, Jason performed his duties admirably,” Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei said at the time of Brokaw’s death at age 43. “His common sense approach and genuine respect for others served him, his community and all of us very well.”
Deb Brokaw said, “Jason was extremely passionate about being a policeman down to his uniform and the reports he filed. This scholarship will provide a way for someone to carry on that passion in law enforcement — a profession Jason loved.”
Brokaw was a graduate of Putnam County High School, Illinois Valley Community College and Illinois State University. While at IVCC, he worked in the bookstore and in later life remained an advocate for the college in the community and at home with Hayleigh and Calvin.
It was Hayleigh and Calvin’s idea to start the scholarship, said their mother.
“Our father always said IVCC was a great place to start,” said Hayleigh, a sophomore at Hall High School.