Police History

Lemont Police Department History
  • Law and Order is first mentioned in our records in the year 1879, where it is noted that the Town Marshall was paid $480.00 per year. The town jail at that time consisted of a two cell calaboose.
  • In 1885, there is an entry that the President of the Village Board also acted as the Chief of Police. It is assumed that this was the case until the year 1909 when Peter Kane is listed as the Chief of Police.
  • On June 4, 1885, $50.00 per month was allocated by the Board to hire a night policeman. Alfred Lundholm served as the first one in this capacity.
  • On October 28, 1885, a village ordinance was passed that members of the police force were forbidden to enter a saloon while on duty, except in the line of duty.
  • Also in October of 1885, a $50 reward was offered for the apprehension and conviction of the party who broke into the Village Hall and calaboose to liberate a prisoner.
  • In January of 1897, a Village Constable was appointed by the Village President, the first one being William J. Saunders serving a one-year term.
  • In January of 1932, there was evidently a money crisis in the Village of Lemont, for the Chief of Police's salary was cut by $25 per month to $125.
  • On November 10, 1948, a village ordinance was passed establishing a Police Department.
  • On June 20, 1950, parking meters were installed in the downtown area of Lemont.
  • In 1960, the Lemont Police Department consisted of a two-man force with six part-time officers and one squad car. In 1963 it went to three full time police officers with six part-timers and a second squad car, equipped with radar traffic con­trol, was purchased. George Bracken served as the local court magistrate.
  • Lemont became a branch of the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1964 and brought the department to five full-time officers.
  • By a referendum in 1965, the voters of Lemont approved putting the Department under a Board of Police Commissioners and voted in the Police Pension Plan.
  • The first three members of the Police Board were Ernest Affelt, John Kickels and George Bracken. Serving as the first Police Pension Trustees were Frank Sowa, Gae Luchowski, Norbert Lesnieski and Russ Henderson.
  • In 1966, village radio communication was operated from the Lockport Police Department. But in 1967 the Village moved the radio communications equipment back to Lemont and hired four radio operators and put into effect 24-hour police communications.
  • Six crossing guards were hired by Lemont in 1968 to patrol the school crossing areas. And in 1969 the Police board hired two more full time officers bringing the total strength to seven officers.
  • Officer Frank Kucera died on May 29, 1969. In 1971, the Village purchased a third police vehicle designed for heavy terrain duty. The same year, Captain Joseph C. Nagel was the first officer from the Department to retire under the Police Pension Plan with 20 years of police service.
  • In 1973, under the direction of Chief Frank Sowa, the Lemont Police Department consisted of nine full-time officers, three auxiliary officers, four radio operators, one relief opera­tor, five crossing guards and three marked police vehicles. The Police officers were: Chief Frank Sowa, Sgt. Richard Stech, Eugene Kunkel, Donald Wiegand, Charles Wood, John Herbert, John Goode, Eugene Wesolowski, Charles Oldham. Auxiliary officers were: Sgt. John Koski, Edward Pukis, Reynold Jacobson. Radio operators were: Dorothy Witkowski, Patricia Donovan, Lillian Dollinger, Donna Begeske, Sally Mankowski. Crossing Guards: Theresa Dorris, Georgene Smoger, Gilbert Sandberg, Margaret Anderson, Joseph Pociask, Reba Roskopf.
  • In 1980, the Police Department moved from the Village Hall to a newly-renovated building at 416 Main which was the for­mer fire station. Chief Richard Stech was very instrumental in the construction and the move into the modern facility.
  • Also in 1980, under the command of Chief Stech, the Police Department instituted its first canine unit. The police dog was donated to Lemont by the Joliet Police Department and went through weeks of training with its handler, Sergeant Jack Bluis. In 1986, after six years of service, the dog was retired from duty. In 1992, police dog Baron was added to the force and trained by his handler, Officer Jerry Lehmacher.
  • In 1986, under the command of Chief Donald Wiegand, the Police Department joined Southwest Central Dispatch. This move brought the Police Department into the 20th century with a computerized dispatch center. Computers were placed in every police vehicle, giving officers vital information at the press of a button.
  • Chief Marc R. Maton currently leads a Police Department of twenty-seven full-time men and women. The force is enhanced by six additional part-time officers, two community service officers, three civilians and police cadets.
  • The Police Cadet Program is available to young men and women between the ages of 16 and 20. The cadets assist the Police Department in traffic control for special events, in the records department and in special projects to enhance the oper­ation of the department. Currently there are 15 young adults in the cadet program.
  • The Lemont Police Department's community policing phi­losophy mixes the past and present while looking toward the future. Programs such as D.A.R.E., crime prevention, bicycle patrol and the canine unit put the officers into direct working relationship with residents. On-going training in specialty fields, such as criminal investigation, field training, truck enforcement, traffic accident investigation, evidence techni­cian, and emergency response enhances the excellence of the men and women of the Lemont Police Department.

 Police Magistrates

Stephen Keough
1873 - 1878
Joshua Bell, Jr. 1879 - 1881
T.C. Thorpe 1882 - 1883
T.J. Hutson 1884 - 1897
George L. Brown (Elder) 1898 - 1899
Fred Simons 1908 - 1917
Walter Fischbach 1918
Joseph Roebuck 1919
John L. Dillman 1920 - 1940
Alderman Dystrup 1941 - 1944
John Dillman 1945 - 1947
Paul Meyer 1949 - 1952
Edgar Kelleher 1953 - 1961
George Bracken 1961 - 1964
Office discontinued at this time.

Chiefs of Police

Pete Kane
1909 - 1912
Peter Helenhouse 1913 - 1919
Pete Kane 1920 - 1941
Joseph Pociask 1942 - 1953
Wm. Kwasnieski 1954 - 1956
Joseph Nagel 1957 - 1968
Frank Sowa 1969 - 1975
Mark Orlick 1975 - 1977
Patrick Seery 1977 - 1979
Richard Stech 1979 - 1984
Donald Wiegand 1984 - 1992
John Bluis 1992 - 2004
Kevin W. Shaughnessy 2004 - 2014
Marc R. Maton 2015 - Present

*Information gathered from Lemont 1873 - 1998, for more information contact the Lemont Historical Society or the Lemont Public Library.

Lemont Police Department History