Chief Raymond J. Rose retires from Mundelein Police Department after 20 years
If you saw the man at work Thursday, you wouldn't think it was Mundelein Police Chief Raymond J. Rose's last day on the job.
He had one meeting with a trustee and another with key staff in the morning. He had paperwork all over his spacious desk.
And there wasn't a single cardboard box in sight for the various books, files and mementos scattered around the corner office.
"I haven't even had time to pack up stuff," Rose said. "I might have to come back tomorrow to get the rest."
Rose, 65, stepped down after more than 20 years leading Mundelein's police force. He came to the department in 1992 from Elk Grove Village, where he'd worked since 1968 following a brief stint in Franklin Park.
Rose will be replaced by Eric Guenther, most recently the department's deputy chief.
Rose announced his intention to leave the department last fall. The time, he said, flew by.
"It just went so fast -- and all of the sudden, it's at that point," he said Thursday.
Already the guest of honor at an invitation-only bash at a local hotel, Rose was feted once again Thursday at the department, albeit a bit less formally.
Village officials and employees, police officers, firefighters and others gathered in a training room for cake, coffee and one more opportunity to celebrate Rose's career.
After presenting Rose with a state Senate proclamation honoring the veteran cop, Mayor Kenneth H. Kessler shared a few words.
"I think the work that you've done on behalf of the village ... has made us all want to live here and want to stay here," Kessler said. "You've had a very distinguished career here and elsewhere, and we're proud of what you've done."
When it was his turn to speak, Rose refused to take sole credit for how the town has improved since he became chief. Just this week, a real-estate group named it one of the safest towns in the nation.
"We've come a long way," Rose said. "And that's not because of one person. That's because of the efforts of everyone in this room."
A longtime Mundelein resident, Rose has been coy about his future.
With Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran recently announcing plans to run for attorney general, Rose has been encouraged to seek Curran's job.
Rose has said he's interested in the post but hasn't announced a decision, one way or the other.
On Thursday, he was more concerned about completing a final inventory of department equipment than running for office.
Rose said he expects his departure from the department will sink in Friday, when his cellphone isn't constantly ringing and he doesn't have any meetings to attend.
"I'm always late for meetings, so I won't have to rush," he joked.