HIGHLAND PARK – Louis E. Jogmen will fill big shoes when he replaces beloved Highland Park Police Chief Paul Shafer on February 23. Shafer retired after 14 years of service in Highland Park on August 2. Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer has served in the interim.
Jogmen has served in law enforcement for 24 years, most recently as deputy chief for the City of Park Ridge Police Department. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, a master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and is a graduate from Northwestern University’s Executive Management and Police Staff and Command Program.
Jogmen spent most of his youth in Tinley Park. He moved to Park Ridge when he began his first job after college, where he and his wife, Mindy Jogmen, are continuing to raise their three children, ages 12, 16 and 19, while they finish their respective schools.
The community is invited to a “Meet the Chief” reception on Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 4 to 6 p.m. at City Hall.
Jogmen shared his inspiration for pursuing a law enforcement career, as well as his hopes for the future in a Q&A with DailyNorthShore.
DNS: How did you get into policing?
Jogmen: I knew that I wanted to become a police officer when I was quite young. For me, 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.
DNS: Your dad was a true hero, and it’s tragic that you lost him so young.
Jogmen: He was a great guy. We’d go on long walks after dinner for years and talk. I am who I am because of him. I miss him terribly. I was drawn to policing because I believe that the pursuit of happiness, defined as a fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, means that 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. And I feel that, 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.
DNS: Are there any programs that you implemented in Park Ridge that you’d like to bring to Highland Park?
Jogmen: I’m proud to have been part of some worthy initiatives in Park Ridge. We were one of the few agencies in the area to have trained all our officers in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). This training is a model for community policing that brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis. Many of our programs centered around developing a stronger connection with our community. Our Beat Team Leader program, National Night Out, Senior Breakfast program all helped to develop relationships between our officers and those we serve. I plan to speak to my new staff about their ideas. In addition, I intend to meet with Highland Park’s community groups, faith-based groups, business owners and residents to help design police services that best meet the needs and desires of our community.
DNS: What do you think will be your greatest challenge in Highland Park?
Jogmen: A good number of experienced senior officers are retiring. I am moving into this position because Chief Shafer, and now Interim Chief Fleischhauer, have retired. They both served their communities with distinction for a long time. The same can be said for Deputy Chief Tim Wilinski, who will be retiring after 25 years of service to Highland Park. It will be challenging to lose them. My law enforcement peers including my staff in Park Ridge have worked with many Highland Park officers, and I was excited that they all have had great experiences. They said they were hardworking, innovative and committed to their jobs and community. I look forward to working with a department that is so highly regarded in the law enforcement community.
DNS: What is your take on gangs in Highland Park?
Jogmen: Based on what I currently know, Highland Park, fortunately, does not experience a significant gang presence. That said, we are a very mobile society and every law enforcement officer must be trained to identify the signs of possible gang activity and be prepared to address it.
DNS: How will you attack the problems of drug use and opioids?
Jogmen: This is a national issue and not one that is going to be easily solved. Highland Park officers are trained in the use of Narcan should they respond to a call involving an accidental overdose. Hopefully, we can impact this issue before the department receives those calls by working closely with local coalitions like Community-The Anti-Drug and the Lake County Opioid Initiative. Our department will also do whatever we can in the area of education.
DNS: How do you plan to deal with frequent car burglaries?
Jogmen: This issue while not unique to Highland Park, in my experience is almost exclusively the result of unlocked cars. We as an agency will continue to focus on educating our residents about the importance of securing their vehicles and their valuables. Our overnight officers will also be proactive in their neighborhoods, looking for signs of fresh car burglaries in an effort to increase their chances of locating and arresting suspects quickly, ultimately sending a message that Highland Park is not the place to come to break into cars.
DNS: Any plans to deter home burglaries?
Jogmen: Residential burglaries are extremely traumatic to anyone who has ever been victimized. A law enforcement agency must do their part by providing valuable prevention information to their residents. We must encourage our residents to call us with information about suspicious activity. Neighbors watching out for neighbors is the most effective means of deterrence. Our officers have been able to intervene during a burglary primarily because a neighbor took the time to let us know that something looked suspicious. Our agency will also continue to work with surrounding agencies and multi-jurisdictional burglary task forces in an effort to mitigate burglaries.
DNS: How do you plan to enforce vaping laws in Highland Park? Was it an issue in Park Ridge?
Jogmen: I understand that Highland Park has a vaping ordinance much like Park Ridge. Our School Resource Officers will continue to work toward education. Department members will also work with local coalitions to help with their efforts.
DNS: What are you most excited about your new position?
Jogmen:. Over the past 24 years, I’ve met many wonderful people and I’ve 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’m 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.