Lake County Undersheriff Rose ending 50-year law enforcement career
Lake County Undersheriff Raymond J. Rose will retire at the end of the month, ending a 50-year law enforcement career that included investigating one of the Northwest suburbs' most infamous crimes.
The veteran cop has served as undersheriff since 2013, appointed to the post by Sheriff Mark Curran. Rose previously spent 20 years as Mundelein's police chief and was with the Franklin Park and Elk Grove Village police departments before that.
It was in Elk Grove Village that Rose worked the most notorious case of his career, serving as lead investigator in the horrific Columbo family murders in 1976.
Patricia Columbo, then 19, plotted for eight months to kill her parents and younger brother, carrying out the plan with boyfriend Frank DeLuca.
Columbo and DeLuca each are serving 200 to 300 years in prison for the murders. They repeatedly have sought parole without success, and Rose has vowed to appear at their hearings to object as long as he's alive. He will do so again Tuesday in Chicago.
Rose, 70, of Mundelein, said he wants to spend more time with his wife, Joanne, and their children and grandchildren. Their 50th wedding anniversary is coming up, Rose said, as is a grandson's college graduation -- and he's finally tired of arranging time off around his work schedule.
"She's been very patient," Rose said of his wife.
Curran said he and Rose worked to make the department what he calls the best sheriff's office in the nation by improving training and hiring policies. Thanks to Rose, the sheriff's office no longer has a reputation for political patronage.
"We're now an office with integrity that does things the right way," Curran said. "And that's (because of) him."
Rose earned $184,547 a year as undersheriff. He once considered seeking the sheriff's post but decided not to run.
Rose started his law enforcement career in Franklin Park in 1967 and moved to the Elk Grove Village Police Department the next year. He stayed there until 1992, when he joined the Mundelein police force as its chief.
Mundelein Public Safety Director Eric Guenther, who succeeded Rose as that town's police chief, said Rose taught him everything he knows about law enforcement.
"Ray took time to mentor and teach others around him and he left this profession, this police department, this community a better place than when he started," Guenther said.
Among the younger officers Rose mentored was Steven Casstevens, now Buffalo Grove's police chief.
"He has always been very professional (and) insightful and possessed the true qualities of a leader," said Casstevens, who also serves as president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
"He was a cop's cop and a chief's chief," Casstevens said.
Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor informed board members of Rose's resignation in an email Wednesday evening. Lawlor credited Rose for playing key roles in the office's widespread use of the overdose-treatment drug naloxone and for improving the department's community policing and mental-health programs.
"I count him as a visionary leader, a valued colleague and a dear friend," Lawlor wrote.
Rose called the accolades "very humbling."