By Dan Campana
Looking back over Park Ridge Police Deputy Chief Lou Jogmen’s 25-year career it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that he’d eventually be a department’s top cop someday.
That day arrives on Feb. 23 when he will be sworn in as chief in Highland Park. Jogmen, 47, spent a year with the Prospect Heights police before joining Park Ridge in 1994. Since then, he worked patrol before rising through the ranks, making an impact with programs and initiatives at every level.
Jogmen also highlights the impact of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police on his career and how he looks forward to a new chapter with the organization.
Ten Two News checked in with Jogmen as he prepares to make the move to Highland Park later this month.
Ten Two News: What got you into law enforcement in the first place? What’s kept you engaged in it?
Jogmen: “I knew that I wanted to become a police officer when I was quite young. It was a very personal decision. My father was a police officer in Tinley Park. In July 1977, he responded to an armed robbery, exchanged himself for a hostage, was handcuffed and ultimately shot in the head by the suspect. Miraculously, he lived until I was 16. I spent those years talking with him and learning what sacrifice, honor and service to others really means.
I still enjoy the job because I believe the pursuit of happiness, defined as a fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, means everyone should be able to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes them happy, as long as they don’t do anything illegal or violate the rights of others. When policing is done correctly, and the community connects with those who are serving it, it is a noble attempt at ensuring everyone has equal access to that right.”
TTN: What’s the biggest challenge you expect transitioning after so many years Park Ridge to the chief’s role in Highland Park?
Jogmen: “After working in one place for almost a quarter of a century and doing things a certain way, it will be interesting and challenging to do policing a bit differently. In addition, it’s important to realize that nationally, law enforcement is experiencing a transition. Highland Park is no different. A good number of experienced, senior officers are retiring … taking years of knowledge and experience with them. It will be challenging to lose them and what they individually brought to the department.
This challenge also affords the organization an opportunity to develop future leaders and to tap into the minds and dedication of a new generation of police officers. From what I know about the officers and staff of the Highland Park police department, I believe the community is in very capable hands and fortunate to have these dedicated individuals protecting and serving them.”
TTN: At what point in your career did you realize becoming a chief was a goal?
Jogmen: “I have found enjoyment in my work at every level. And I miss doing a lot of the work I did as a street officer and as a first line supervisor. I became a police officer because I wanted to do that type of work. As I progressed through the department, and as society’s relationship with law enforcement began becoming strained, I realized I wanted to be in a position to help an agency connect with its residents and to ensure those residents connect with, and appreciate, their police officers.”
TTN: Why have organizations such as IACP and ILACP been so important to you?
Jogmen: “There is no question that my involvement in these groups, particularly my work with the ILACP, has been a tremendous help to my professional development. Through ILACP, I have had the opportunity to network with, and learn from, some of the most dedicated, experienced and talented law enforcement leaders in the state. I was also fortunate to be exposed to some cutting-edge training over the years and was in a better position to stay current with the changes law enforcement was experiencing. I am proud to have successfully completed the ILACP Police Chief Certification Program and feel being credentialed by ILACP as a Certified Eligible Chief was of great benefit to me as I sought a chief’s position.
My work as chair of ILACP’s Traffic Safety Committee afforded me the opportunity to be part of developing and organizing a number of statewide safety campaigns through which I was able to work on a large scale with law enforcement and private sector partners on shared goals. As a deputy chief, I certainly valued my time with the ILACP and I now look forward to continuing in a different capacity.”
TTN: Overall, what can Highland Park residents expect from you and the department under your leadership?
Jogmen: “I am excited to become part of the Highland Park community. Over the past 24 years, I have worked with and become part of the Park Ridge community. I have met many wonderful people and I have worked hard to impact the quality of life for those who live and or work in Park Ridge. And while this will always be part of who I am, I am excited to have an opportunity to develop new friendships, partnerships and to become part of a new community.
I hope to take my experiences in Park Ridge and combine them with new experiences going forward in an effort to build community partnerships and trust, as well as, enhance teamwork and professionalism within the Highland Park Police Department. I am honored to have been selected for this position. I am excited to have this opportunity to serve the residents and businesses of such a highly regarded municipality and to work with a new impressive and dedicated staff.”