Deputy Chief Alan M. Roechner has been permanently appointed as Joliet’s new chief of police after serving in the interim position for the past three months, Interim City Manager Martin Shanahan announced today.
Chief Roechner was appointed interim chief in August of this year after predecessor Brian Benton announced his retirement.
“I am pleased to appoint Mr. Al Roechner as our permanent chief of police. He has demonstrated his dedication to the City of Joliet through his 27 years of public service. In the past several months I watched him step up to lead the department in a way that has built camaraderie, respect and enthusiasm. I am confident that our police department will flourish under his leadership,” said Shanahan. “I have the utmost confidence in Mr. Roechner.
“The process to select a permanent chief of police continued almost immediately after my appointment as interim city manager. I relied upon my own observations of Mr. Roechner professionally over the past four years; during interviews and interrogations, on-the-scene incidents and interactions with the public. In addition to a personal interview, his credentials were reviewed and a number of professional references were contacted for input,” Shanahan stated.
Chief Roechner has nearly three decades of law enforcement experience, beginning in 1991 as a patrol officer for Joliet. During his tenure with the Joliet Police Department, Roechner spent time in the Neighborhood Oriented Policing Team, Special Operations Squad, Tactical, Narcotics and Investigation units. For the past 10 years Chief Roechner served in a commander position with increasing responsibility. First, overseeing operations for the 70-person Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System mobile field force, then the operations division where he is responsible for 210 sworn personnel and 41 civilian staff and most recently the Investigations division for the past four-plus years.
In addition to directing daily operating functions of the department as commander, Chief Roechner worked to create the BESST program; Belts, Education, Speeding, Stop sign and Texting; a new driver education program implemented across the city and in city high schools. Chief Roechner also helped to design and implement the 12 hour shift schedule for patrol officers, create the department recruitment committee and mediate between unions at the division level.
“I am honored to serve in this capacity and plan to engage community leaders, listen to their input and provide the best possible police service. I want to thank the men and women of the Joliet Police Department for their continued support but more importantly for their hard work and dedication to the community. I look forward to working with the Mayor, City Council and city manager on all issues related to police matters to continue our mission of ‘Working with the community for a safe city.’”
Chief Roechner is a life-long Joliet resident, an alumnus of Providence Catholic high school and a graduate of Illinois Benedictine University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Additionally, 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 Boston University Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute.
Chief Roechner and his wife, Nancy, have three adult daughters, Catherine, Hallie and Zoe. They have one son-in-law, Vic (Catherine) and one grandson, Nico.
Chief Roechner’s appointment was made official at the December 4, 2018 City Council meeting.