Kellen to retire as Mendota police chief

Kellen started his law enforcement career in 1988 in Mendota

Mendota Police Chief Greg Kellen announces his retirement Monday, May 20, 2024, at the Mendota City Council meeting. Kellen, who departs in mid-June, called it a career after more than three decades in law enforcement.

Mendota will need a new police chief. Greg Kellen is retiring after more than three decades in law enforcement.

“It’s a big set of shoes to fill”

—  Mendota Mayor David Boelk

Monday, Kellen advised the Mendota City Council he has decided to call it a career. His last day will be June 14 – but will expend his remaining vacation time into July – after which he plans to work as a security officer under La Salle County Sheriff Adam Diss.

“After all these years,” Kellen said, “I have only one hope and that is that along my journey I made a difference.”

Kellen started his law enforcement career with the Mendota Police Department in 1988 as a telecommunicator and in 1990 became a patrol officer. After a stint with the drug task force (1995-98) he became an investigator and was promoted to detective sergeant in 2001 and operations lieutenant in 2015. He became police chief in late 2018 after Chief Tom Smith retired.

Mayor David Boelk said he might consider an interim appointment but would take at least a few days considering how best to fill the post.

“It’s a big set of shoes to fill,” Boelk said.

Separately, the city’s first administrative adjudication hearing was deemed a success. Prior to Monday’s meeting, Kellen had rendered an email report to the City Council on the new civil venue created to resolve minor offenses.

According to Kellen’s memorandum, 64 citations were adjudicated. Of those, three were found guilty and 23 defendants paid prior to the May 8 hearing. One case was dismissed because the respondent complied with corrective action and three more cases were reset for compliance checks. Sixteen defendants (representing 41 ordinance violations) failed to show. The next hearing date is July 10.

“Overall, I think the hearings went very well,” Kellen advised the council. “Considering it was our first hearing, I think we nailed it.”

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