Longtime Round Lake Beach Police Chief Gary Bitler has announced his retirement, according to a statement from the village.
Bitler, who has been with the police department for 35 years, began his tenure in Round Lake Beach in 1979. Bitler leaves the department as the most decorated officer in its history, according to the village.
Bitler earned Police Officer of the Year in 1988 and 1992. He was involved in solving four murder cases and is credited with saving three lives, including an infant, and a youth from committing suicide, according to the release. He also led a successful narcotics investigation leading to the arrest of 28 people.
The mayor and board of trustees expressed their gratitude to Bitler "for the integral role he has played and his exemplary efforts and commitment to the safety and well-being of the residents of the village of Round Lake Beach."