Former Libertyville, Hoffman Estates police chief dies
Clint Herdegen was still a patrolman at heart when he led the Hoffman Estates police department for more than a decade.
"He wasn't a stuck-in-the-office type of guy," Mayor Bill McLeod said.
Herdegen, a former police chief in Hoffman Estates and Libertyville, died Nov. 22 at home surrounded by his family. He was 61.
The man behind the badge kept his cool, raised three kids with his wife Sharon, cheered on the Cubs and enjoyed camping with his family.
"He was a perfect choice for police chief," McLeod said. "He was also one of the finest human beings I've ever met."
Herdegen spent most of his law enforcement career in Hoffman Estates. The Hersey High School graduate joined the department in 1981 when he was 21, about a year before McLeod became a village trustee, and quickly rose through the ranks.
Herdegen took over the helm of the department in 1998. McLeod called him a "servant leader," calm, intelligent, a teacher focused on training the next generation of officers.
"He had a very even-keeled demeanor, even in situations that were tough," said McLeod, remembering when a Hoffman Estates High School freshman was struck and killed by a minivan while crossing a busy street near campus early in Herdegen's tenure as chief.
"He kept everything together and we all got through everything," McLeod said. "And he showed that leadership in the appointments that he was involved in and the promotions."
Herdegen also played a key role in the design of a new police station. Unveiled in 2010, the $28 million building, replacing an old station built in the early 1970s, had enhanced safety features and a community resource center.
"We've captured the vision of what we imagine a modern police facility to look like," Herdegen said at the time.
Herdegen served as Hoffman Estates police chief for 12 years until September of 2010. A few weeks later, he was hired for the same position in Libertyville to replace retiring Police Chief Pat Carey.
Libertyville officials honored Herdegen and his 40 years in law enforcement with a special proclamation this past summer. His daughter, Kristine Herdegen, was sworn in as a firefighter/paramedic at the same village board meeting.
Herdegen also served as president of the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System; chairman of the Northwest Police Academy; and president of the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory.
In Libertyville, he helped consolidate the village's 911 dispatch center with Vernon Hills and created a school resource officer position.
His visitation is set for 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Morizzo Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2550 West Hassell Road, in Hoffman Estates.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Special Olympics in his memory.