The city on Friday named Deputy Chief Al Roechner its interim police chief.
Roechner starts Thursday, replacing Brian Benton, who officially retires Nov. 27 but is taking about three months of unused paid leave before he goes.
Roechner has been with the Joliet police for 27 years and has held command positions the last nine. He currently is deputy chief of investigations,.
Roechner told The Herald-News that he is honored to be named interim chief in the city where he grew up.
“I was born and raised in Joliet. I take pride in that,” he said.
During his time as interim chief, Roechner said, he plans to “just do the best I can to keep the department moving forward.”
Roechner said he will seek to become the permanent chief.
Benton announced his intent to retire on Aug. 8.
The city has not posted the position yet, and a timetable has not been set for hiring a new chief.
In a news release announcing the appointment, City Manager David Hales said he looked forward to working with Roechner “during the next few months until a permanent chief is named.” He noted Roechner’s “extensive police command knowledge and experience” and “budgeting and financial experience.”
In the news release, Roechner said, “I look forward to representing the incredible men and women of the Joliet Police Department, working with the dedicated members of our City Council, and finally, but most importantly, serving the residents of Joliet in any way possible. I am confident my almost three decades of service and leadership to the city will provide a smooth transition for the residents and leaders of our community.”
Roechner is a 2003 graduate of Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command and a 2011 graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute.
He and his wife, Nancy Griparis, are lifelong residents of Joliet. They have three adult daughters, Catherine, Hallie and Zoe, and one grandson, Nico.