New police chiefs rose through the ranks in Libertyville and Lake Villa
New police chiefs in two Lake County communities are department veterans promoted from within.
Ed Roncone in Libertyville and Rochelle Tisinai in Lake Villa were recommended for the top spot by the mayors in each community and recently ratified by their respective village boards.
Roncone started with the Libertyville Police Department in 1989 as a patrol officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 2003, lieutenant in 2007 and deputy chief in 2019. He became acting chief in December when Clint Herdegen went on medical leave.
Herdegen, who had served 11 years, was awarded a non-duty disability pension in June and retired. Roncone was recommended by Mayor Donna Johnson for the full-time post and was sworn in Tuesday.
Johnson said Roncone's character during the transition stood out.
"He did it unwaveringly without any requests or demands, and that speaks volumes about the person we have stepping in this role as a leader," she said. "We couldn't find a better leader."
Roncone is an assistant team commander for the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, which provides mutual aid to more than 100 police agencies. He also is an expert for police-related topics for the National Fire Protection Association, and he speaks and conducts training statewide in his role on the executive board of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association.
Johnson said policing is "one of the most honorable professions that one can take on" and stressed the importance of having an articulate leader who understands the issues.
Roncone, who was endorsed by Herdegen, said the former chief developed a solid foundation.
"Now it's up to us to see where we're at, what the future holds, and bring the department to the next level," he said.
Integrating technology when bodycams come into use and developing a well-rounded wellness plan for officers are keys moving forward, Roncone said.
Tisinai was appointed July 19 to replace Craig Somerville, who retired. An Antioch High School graduate with a master's degree in human services, Tisinai was hired in Lake Villa as a police officer in September 2003.
She was promoted to sergeant in 2013 and to lieutenant in October 2020. Lake Villa Mayor James McDonald said Tisinai brings a wealth of knowledge to the position.
Tisinai said a community policing program was implemented as a way to work with residents and build a partnership with residents.
"Every subdivision in our village has an assigned police officer that residents can email or contact when they have general questions or nonemergency concerns," she said.
The department's mission is to serve and protect while making a positive difference in the lives of residents, she added.
"I have always been very involved with community policing and will continue to make that a priority," Tisinai said.
Solutions to problems will be sought by fostering cooperation, positive contact with the public and proactive methods, she added.