We've enjoyed our interactions with Mike Tellef, the longtime public information officer for the Peoria Police and Fire Departments.
Mike always has been responsive to our public-records requests (even if we don't get them sometimes as fast as we'd like), and he is unfailingly courteous and a good guy o share a few words with about the state of things in the world.
We dealt with Mike on a public-records request shortly after the tragic death of Noor Almaleki, whose father intentionally ran her and another woman over with a Jeep late last year.
Noor's murder is the subject of our cover story in this week's paper, called "Honor Thy Father." Access it here..
We hadn't been in touch with Mike for weeks as we reported Noor's story, and called him this morning to give him a head's up that it was hitting the presses (actually the 'Net) today, with the print version coming out tomorrow.
Come to find out that today was his third day back to work after missing nine weeks of work because of a near-fatal bacterial infection that threatened at one point to kill him.
He sounded thrilled to be back in the saddle in this, his 32nd year with the City of Peoria.
Mike has had several lives with the Peoria PD and FD, pun intended.
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He retired as a police sergeant there after more than 20 years and then worked for several years with the fire department, where he practically invented its community- and media-relations units.
We're not usually so gushing with our praise for PIOs, sometimes more disinformation officers than not.
But Mike Tellef deserves a bit of love, and we are happy to toss a little his way.