Rollins takes over as SG police chief
SUGAR GROVE—Interim Police Chief Ron Moser on Monday handed over the reins of the Sugar Grove Police Department to his successor, Patrick Rollins, who took over as the department’s new chief of police.
Rollins has spent the last 23 years working for the Lombard Police Department, working his way up from a probationary police officer to deputy chief of police, a position he has held for the last 12 years—nine of those years as deputy chief of administration and three as deputy chief of operations, supervising 68 officers.
He’ll spend his first week working alongside Moser to transfer information about the internal workings of Sugar Grove’s department.
“I’ll be making introductions, going over policies and procedures and the budget, and other department heads will talk to him too,” Moser said. “The county functions, the sheriff’s office, the state’s attorney’s office, our record system, how we store evidence—all the things he’ll need to know to manage the department.”
Rollins, who was selected from over 130 applicants in a multistage interview process, has extensive credentials. Moser described him as “very knowledgeable.”
In addition to a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of New Mexico, Rollins has trained at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Center of Public Safety Executive Management Program. He has worked extensively alongside fire departments to determine the causes of fires.
He received the Director’s Award for his performance at the Command Officer’s Southern Police Institute, launched the Violent Intruder Program in DuPage and Cook counties to increase awareness of school and community protection, and has command experience with community and sporting events, including the 2012 PGA Ryder Cup.
“I’ve been able to assist Lombard with many projects on the technological side, and we’ve been able to push out so that what the officers can do in the car is the same that they can do in the station. That’s a huge accomplishment,” Rollins said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in my career. I’ve had plenty of strong highlights, but also some sad times with the types of cases I’ve ended up working. There have been some tragic ones. So I am bringing a lot of experience to Sugar Grove.”
Village President Sean Michels said that Rollins had impressed him in interviews.
“The thing I really liked was his commitment to getting out and working with community groups, like the churches and the Park District,” Michels said. “He really seems to be the type of guy who wants to get out and get to know people and get involved. He’s a personable guy.”
That willingness to work with the community was essential, Michels said, because the village wants to continue its community-oriented policing approach.
Rollins said that he wants to begin getting to know residents immediately.
“I’m going to be meeting internally with the department and the village department head, board, civic groups and schools, so you’ll see me out and about and available,” Rollins said. “I’ll be listening to their needs as well as their concerns.”
Rollins lives in Naperville with his wife and two sons, ages 15 and 4, but said he is looking forward to getting to know more about Sugar Grove.
“It has great potential,” he said. “I know it has a great opportunity for continued growth as the economy rebounds. I’m from a background of working at a family-owned grocery store, and I understand it’s not the size of the community, it’s how you deliver the service.”
Although Rollins said he has several goals for the department, he declined to share them, saying that he wants to tell the officers and staff first. He described his management philosophy as “flexible and adaptable,” and said that he wants to “make sure we’re visible out there in the community and provide great customer service.”
Michels said that expanding the emergency management program, which prepares the department to deal with a natural disaster, and using technology to maximize the department’s resources, are current priorities.
Moser, who came out of retirement to serve as Sugar Grove’s interim police chief, said that while he will miss Sugar Grove, he plans to keep teaching online criminal justice courses for Columbia College in Missouri and working as a consultant. He and his wife plan to spend their winters in Las Vegas, and he said he is looking forward to warm weather and palm trees.
“Although I hate to leave, I came here with the understanding that it was an interim position,” he said. “We’ve made some progress here. We’ve moved to a centralized dispatch system, increased our fleet (and) improved our training. I like to think that I did some good things here, and I have a really good feeling about leaving.”
Michels said that the village was grateful for Moser’s service and felt confident it had found the right replacement.
“We wish Chief Moser all the best in his retirement, and we thank him for his exemplary work over the past year. We are confident that Chief Rollins will continue and expand on the strides that Chief Moser made, and that Chief Rollins will more than live up to his reputation as an outstanding, committed law enforcement officer who leads by example and with professionalism,” Michels said in a statement. “We look forward to having Pat as our chief and ask the community to welcome him.”