Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/16/2014 4:32 PM

Longtime Gurnee police spokesman Jay Patrick retiring

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Jay Patrick

      Jay Patrick
    Courtesy of Gurnee police

 
 

Gurnee police Cmdr. Jay Patrick -- best known as the department's spokesman over his lengthy career -- is headed into retirement.

Patrick's finale on Friday will cap a Gurnee police career that began in June 1986. His departure will come slightly more than a month after Deputy Chief James Caldwell's retirement.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"It was a good time," Patrick said of his Gurnee career. "A great place to be. Right time and right place."

Police Chief Kevin Woodside said he'll miss Patrick's friendship, law-enforcement experience and calm voice during a crisis. He said Patrick's career accomplishments will continue to be noticed in the Gurnee police firearms proficiency program.

"Besides being an expert marksman, he was one of our first firearms instructors and supervisors of our training program," Woodside told the Daily Herald. "He pioneered our program, which now sets the standard that ensures our police officers receive the best possible training."

Patrick was a police officer in southwestern Michigan when his wife accepted a position at Grayslake-based College of Lake County in January 1984. He joined her after getting a job at the Lake County sheriff's office.

After two years as a deputy sheriff, Patrick landed in Gurnee. In addition to the firearms instruction, his duties over 28 years in the village covered patrol officer, investigator, media spokesman and project manager for the police headquarters building that opened in late 2003.

The public information officer part of Patrick's job brought him into the spotlight. He handled that role from 1997 until last September, when his intent to retire became known and a replacement was sought within the department.

Similar to other law-enforcement agencies, Patrick's job as Gurnee police spokesman was to provide timely, accurate information to the media regarding major crimes or other instances, such as when the village was hit by flooding. He said he trained on how to deal with the media before becoming the spokesman.

Patrick's profile was elevated when former Bears defensive tackle Terrence "Tank" Johnson's Gurnee house was raided in December 2006.

He described how authorities entered Johnson's home and seized six weapons, some of them loaded, and ammunition. Police also found about 2.5 ounces of marijuana and prescription painkillers belonging to Johnson, who spent 60 days in Cook County jail for a probation violation as a result of the Gurnee accusations.

"That was a large media event," Patrick said Monday. "We were getting inquires worldwide on that. We're still getting inquiries on it today."

Patrick, 58, will return to Michigan, with plans to hone his golf game and possibly dabble in photography. He was the unofficial police photographer since the 1990s.

Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said Patrick's skill at representing the village to the public, often under difficult circumstances, will be missed.

"He's done a wonderful job of being the face of the Gurnee PD," Kovarik said.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here