East Dundee Police Chief Terry Mee has retired after devoting more than a decade to advancing the department.
Mee touted the East Dundee department working to improve processes and advance new community policing efforts during his 11-year tenure. He said he hired several young officers -- "they're all stars" -- who have integrated well with the more experienced members of the force, and he launched an initiative this year to equip all officers with body cameras.
Mee oversaw a $3.9 million project to redevelop a former firehouse into a new state-of-the-art police station, which opened in 2016.
"I think that was an indicator of how successful we've been," said Mee, a Wheaton resident. "There's no end to what we've accomplished in 11 years. I'm very proud."
Mee, who previously spent 30 years at the Wheaton Police Department, said he had been contemplating retirement for a while before making the decision.
"I believe timing is everything, and the timing was good," he said.
But after 41 years in the industry, Mee said he's not ready to give up on law enforcement yet. He intends to work as a consultant and become involved with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
"There'll be a lot of opportunities for me to continue to utilize my experience," Mee said. He also expects to devote more time to his elected position as a Wheaton Park District commissioner.
Working with staffing agency GovTemps USA, East Dundee has begun an external search for an interim chief who also would assess and provide recommendations for the department, Village Administrator Jennifer Johnsen said. That individual also would help recruit a permanent leader -- a process expected to begin in a couple of months.
"We're looking for someone who is a well-seasoned police chief to kind of serve as a consultant," Johnsen said, noting the village already has someone in mind. Plans are subject to change after more thorough discussions with the village board.
Mee said the department already has set the framework for new objectives that will likely be implemented in the next year.
"I have no doubt that our staff is going to continue with what I consider to be a very successful path that we've been on for some time now," he said. "I'm pretty excited for them."