The first time Stan Schultz retired from a suburban law enforcement agency, his retirement lasted all of 72 hours. This time, after the Cook County Sheriff's deputy turned in his badge Friday after serving 18 years at the Rolling Meadows Third Municipal District Courthouse, it will be permanent.
"There's a boat in my driveway that's been calling my name every time I walk out the door," said the Arlington Heights resident, who plans on spending at least part of his second retirement fishing with his grandchildren.
The rest of the time he'll devote to the 1,001 projects his wife of 48 years has for him, which "may or may not get done," says the 69-year-old Korean War veteran, who spent 28 years as a Skokie police officer before he retired on Jan. 28, 1994. Three days later, he began his second career as a deputy at the Rolling Meadows courthouse.
Schultz is among a half dozen former police officers who became sheriff's deputies after they retired, said Ralph DeBartolo, Cook County Sheriff's Department chief of the Third Municipal District in Rolling Meadows.
The experience these deputies bring gives them an advantage, DeBartolo said.
"They've handled every kind of situation possible," he said. "The young guys are book smart but not street smart. Stanley had everything: he's street smart and book smart."
And he was dependable, said DeBartolo, pointing out that Schultz rarely called in sick.
Known for his fondness for pranks, Schultz used to remind courthouse visitors to visit the (nonexistent) basement gift shop before they left. He also liked to tease prospective brides and grooms seeking marriage licenses. What kind do you want, he inquired, permanent license; the five-year, renewable version or the $5 license that's good for a weekend?
"I don't think I can stand it," wailed one twenty-something bride-to-be, "Now I have another decision to make."
That quirky sense of humor endeared the deputy to his courthouse co-workers.
"People are going to miss him," says fellow sheriff's deputy Karen Spickerman, who shares Schultz's love of fishing.
As for Schultz, he counts his colleagues among the job's greatest rewards.
"I could not ask for a better bunch of people to serve with," he said.
Few co-workers escaped his teasing, which took the form of pranks (he once left a frozen carp in a colleague's car) and nicknames. Spickerman is Stella; court clerk Nina Savaiano is Lina; and an interpreter named Maribel was re-christened Two Rivers, because she shares her name with a Wisconsin burg adjacent to another small town called Two Rivers.
"Somehow, when he explains it to you it makes sense," Savaiano said.
Schultz also earned praise for the way he treated the public.
"I try to be cheerful, put them at ease," he said.
Most people come to a courthouse because they have to, not because they want to be there, he explained, adding that he saw no point in making their experience worse by treating them disrespectfully.
"I tried to treat everyone the same: with respect," he said. "You treat people with respect and you'll get respect back."