Rose’s career blossomed in Mundelein
Mundelein Police Cheif Ray Rose is retiring after a little more than 20 years on the job. | Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 11, 2013 6:28AM
MUNDELEIN — Lake County’s longest serving police chief will retire at the end of this month, but Mundelein Police Chief Ray Rose said he’s not likely to just sit back and go fishing.
“I think I’m going to miss a lot of it. I don’t know if I’ll be sitting on the front porch watching traffic,” Rose said with a laugh.
“I’ve got a couple of things I’m looking at; a lot of people want me to run for sheriff in two years,” he said. “There’s so many options right now. I don’t want to jump into anything. I want to take a month or so.”
When Rose retires, he will have served as chief in Mundelein for 20 years and four months.
John Kennedy, executive director of the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association, said Rose’s long tenure is unusual.
“Actually, 20 years is quite remarkable. Our average is six or seven years,” Kennedy said. “What he’s accomplished is quite remarkable and probably no other chief is as respected by his peers.”
Rose has served as president for the Lake County and the state associations.
“He’s been a real backbone of the association. He’s very supportive,” Kennedy said. “His ability to share information has been a tremendous resource for us.”
Rose started his career as a police officer in Franklin Park in 1967. The next year, he went to Elk Grove Village, where he moved up through the ranks to deputy chief before leaving for Mundelein in 1992. He attended Harper Community College for an associate degree in criminal justice and Northern Illinois University, where he received his liberal arts degree and a master’s degree in public administration.
Rose has made a reputation for himself and his department for pioneering community policing and integrating the police department into all aspects of the community. His said his longevity can be tied to his ability to come up with ideas and a vision of what community is.
“What ends up happening a lot is the police department starts to see itself as a separate entity, separate from the community,” Rose said. “Police departments need to remember their place in the scheme of things. Police exist to support the community.”
Rose embraced the idea of community policing even though other chiefs saw it as a “waive and grin squad.” The second part of community policing is assisting the victims of crime, which is why Rose and his staff developed the Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims initiative.
The effort improves the way the staff interacts with victims of crime so they don’t feel victimized again as a result of how an officer responded to them or a lack of response. He said there is a connection between improving services to victims and achieving better results in the investigation and prosecution of crimes. Not long ago, his department held a webinar with a police department in Australia on the victim initiative.
One of Rose’s biggest challenges was turning around the Whitehall Apartment complex after it became plagued with crime. Police set up a station in one apartment and social services in another. They clamped down on outsiders hanging out in the parking lot drinking, and then they worked with the owners and the residents, assigning building and floor leaders to get feedback on conditions. The village also passed a nuisance abatement ordinance.
The complex now has very few problems, and the number of police calls were reduced dramatically.
“There was strong enforcement, but more importantly we got the community involved,” said Rose, adding that the owners also made a lot of changes in a $13 million rehabilitation where more two- and three-bedroom apartments attracted young families.
The department has received numerous awards from local and state chiefs associations, the Governor’s Cup Award, 17 Governor’s Hometown Awards for police sponsored or assisted events and others.
Rose recently was honored as the Law Enforcement Executive of the Year by the Illinois Association of Law Enforcement Executives for being a progressive leader in law enforcement that has demonstrated a willingness to develop and implement new and experimental programs.