Jim Knoblauch announced Friday he will retire as Oglesby’s police chief, effective in May.
Knoblauch issued a statement after addressing his officers at a 2 p.m. meeting.
“As we start a new decade, my family and I have determined that this is the best time for me to start a new segment in my life’s journey,” Knoblauch wrote. “I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve the city where I was born and grew up in and where my wife and I chose to live and raise our family.”
Knoblauch, 53, had accrued 30 years’ service and had been eligible for retirement for some time. Friday’s announcement comes ahead of daughter Morgan’s graduation and fresh on the heels of his reinstatement. He had been briefly removed in January, but the city council effectively reversed his ouster at a Jan. 20 meeting, during which Carrie Lijewski was named commissioner of public safety.
“I want to thank the chief for his 30 years of service,” Lijewski said. “It’s very hard to be a chief — you carry a heavy load on your shoulders — and he’s done it with grace and excellence. I wish him the best in the next chapter of his life.”
Mayor Dom Rivara said Knoblauch will remain police chief until May 1 and that a diligent search for a new would begin soon, emphasizing, “Jim cannot be replaced.”
“Jim is one of our own,” Rivara said. “He grew up here. He has been a role model, a mentor and a friend. He leaves us as all public servants should, with his head high, his values intact, and an organization better than when he joined it.”
Knoblauch was named police chief in summer 2010. Under Knoblauch’s watch, Oglesby joined Illinois Valley Regional Dispatch and briefly engaged in talks about centralizing police duties with La Salle and Peru.
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or TCollins@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_Court.