“It’s time,” says McCook top cop Svetich
McCook Police Chief Steve Svetich to retire in June
By Steve Metsch
Saying the time has come after 35 years on duty, McCook Police Chief Steve Svetich is planning to retire on June 30.
Appointed chief in June of 2021, Svetich has submitted a letter notifying the village board of his plans.
Svetich lives in Willow Springs, but he grew up in McCook.
He graduated from St. Hugh Elementary School in Lyons in 1980 and from Morton West High School in Berwyn in 1984.
“It’s time to go. It will be 35 years. I’ll be 57 (when I retire),” Svetich said, noting he is “maxed out” regarding his pension.
“It’s a little weird. This is my hometown,” he said. “It will be a little sad, but it’s the right thing to do. It’s time.”
Asked about career highlights, he said being appointed police chief stands out.
Svetich first worked for the Summit Police Department in 1987 after graduating from the police academy.
“I stayed there for about a year, then came over here,” he said.
Working in his hometown was special.
“I know everybody. If something happens, I kind of take it personal,” he said.
“All the people here, they remember me when I was little. I remember them when they were way younger,” he said.
Svetich chose a career in law enforcement “because I love helping people. I have since I was kid.”
“I’ve met so many nice people, so many great people from other departments. It’s good all the way around.”
Asked about future plans, Svetich said: “I don’t have any. Do a lot of work around my house.”
Svetich has three daughters. One of his daughters, Sara, has expressed interest in becoming a police officer.
“I support her if that’s what she wants to do,” he said.
During the Nov. 7 board meeting, McCook Mayor Terrance Carr joked that he would not accept Svetich’s retirement.
“I don’t want him to leave, but I get it,” Carr said on Nov. 8. “Being a policeman now is not like being a policeman when he started out.”
Svetich was Carr’s first pick to replace disgraced former police chief Mario DePasquale.
DePasquale had been indicted in 2020 on federal extortion charges that involved former Mayor Jeff Tobolski.
Prosecutors said the two teamed to shake down a restaurant owner needing village approval to serve alcohol.
DePasquale was charged with extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion and attempted extortion.
Carr turned to Svetich in order to repair the damage to the police department’s image and reputation.
“(Svetich) picked up the pieces of the puzzle and put them back together,” Carr said. “I could not be prouder. He’s a good guy.”
In other action at the Nov. 7 meeting, the board approved hiring Dylan Lorek as a police officer. Carr hopes to hire two more police officers in 2023.
Lorek was sworn in by Dan Foy, chairman of the fire commission, during the meeting.
After the meeting, Lorek, 22, of Homer Glen, said he has worked as a part-time officer in Orland Park and Tinley Park.
He applied in McCook “because it’s a good town.”
“It’s full-time. That’s the goal, get full-time at a young age. Lot of room for growth. I’m very happy to be here,” Lorek said.
He echoed Svetich when asked about his career choice.
“I love helping people. Helping those who can’t help themselves is something I’ve always believed in. And I love that every day is different,” Lorek said.
Lorek is a graduate of Lockport Township High School and Joliet Junior College where he studied law enforcement.
In other business, the board approved buying a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado for $40,000 from Jack Phelan Chevrolet in Lyons.
It will be used by the police department for truck enforcement, Carr said.
The board also approved a $50,916 payment to M&J Asphalt Paving Co. for the Joliet Road rehab project. That is the second and final payment to M&J, Carr said.
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