Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski is retiring after 14 years at the helm of the city’s police department, Park Ridge officials announced Wednesday.
His last day will be May 18, Kaminski confirmed to Pioneer Press. The retirement has been in the works for some time, he said.
“We’ve been planning this for about the last year,” he said. “I’m going to be 71 years old and I’ve been in the business for 50 years.”
He plans “to spend some time with family and the grandkids” in retirement, he said — “and maybe do something on the side to still contribute to the profession.”
Prior to his time in Park Ridge, Kaminski spent 33 years at the Evanston Police Department, according to a city press release. He said he’s seen waves of change in the profession over his career.
“Policing has made tremendous strides to be more professional, more accountable and hopefully more connected to the community,” he said.
Kaminski said he sees building a pipeline of new officers as an imperative.
“The outlook is good if we can just address the recruitment problem,” he said. “We need to turn that whole thing around in terms of trying to get people back into the profession.”
Overall, he said, he’s optimistic about the future of law enforcement.
“I think it’s a challenging time for police, but it’s also an exciting time to address those challenges,” Kaminski said. “I’ve been doing this for 50 years; I started my career in the ‘70s. Policing has changed drastically in that time.”
Kaminski said he’d spend his remaining time on the job wrapping up projects, making sure planned purchases went through and keeping community engagement efforts running.
He said he’s proud of the “positive culture” he sees in the Park Ridge Police Department.
“We’ve got a great crew of people here right now,” he said. “I’ve never seen such a group of people that work as a team and care for each other.”
In a press release, Park Ridge Mayor Marty Maloney congratulated Kaminski on his retirement.
“[Kaminski’s] leadership was extremely valuable to the Department and helped provide a strong foundation for the men and women who serve us all,” Maloney said.
Later, Maloney said in an email that it was a simultaneously happy and sad day for the city.
“It may be the end of the road for Chief with the Park Ridge Police Department, but it is the start of an open highway for him that I am certain will include plenty of relaxation, a huge reduction in stress, time with his entire family and hopefully more than a few trips to see Mickey and Minnie,” he said.
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