My Suburban Life

Elmhurst police chief Ruth dies

Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth died over the weekend, according to the city of Elmhurst.

Officials said Sunday that Ruth died while recovering from a medical procedure in an area hospital.

Ruth had served as Elmhurst police chief since 2012 and had served 44 years in law enforcement. He is credited with implementing new crime prevention technologies and helping the department achieve Tier 1 state accreditation.

“I am forever grateful to have worked alongside him,” Elmhurst City Manager Jim Grabowski said. “He was an asset to our organization and his loss will not be easy to overcome.”

Ruth’s career began in the dispatcher’s seat in Alsip. He served as a patrolman in Hometown before joining the Skokie Police Department in 1981, where he worked his way to the rank of commander.

Ruth also worked as an adjunct criminal justice professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Governors State University.

Ruth was a graduate of the 207th Session of the BI National Academy and a former president of the West Suburban Chiefs of Police Association.

Officials said Deputy Chief Michael McLean, who has been serving as acting chief in Ruth’s absence, will serve as Interim chief.

“Above all, Chief Ruth believed in the nobility of the Elmhurst Police Department’s work and the professionalism of its members,” Elmhurst Mayor Scott Levin said. “Our city has suffered a tremendous loss, however, I am comforted in knowing that chief was a mentor to many and that his commitment to the best level of public safety standards for our community will live on.”