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Worth’s top cop retires before 50th birthday

  • Written by Kelly White

Knolmayer seeks out more family time after 28 years on Worth force

With tearful eyes, some Village of Worth officials sadlypage-1-2-col-Knolmayer-and-wife-KarenMartin Knolmayer, posing with his wife Karen at Tuesday night’s village board meeting, is retiring at Worth Police Chief Oct. 3. Photo by Kelly White. celebrated the retirement of whom they consider a great man. 

Police Chief Martin Knolmayer announced his retirement at Tuesday’s board meeting, leaving the village after over 28 years of service and right before his 50th birthday. The retirement takes place Oct. 3. That’s when a little more family time is scheduled to kick in.
“My family has personally seen a few milestones this past year,” Knolmayer said, “My wife, Karen, and I celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary this month. My son, Zach, graduated with honors from DePaul University. My daughter, Ashley, turned 21 and is still doing well in college. Most importantly, I will be turning 50 years old next month.”
The village recently received a letter from the chief informing us that his decision was to retire where Knolmayer wrote: “I would like to thank my wife, Karen, for many years of unconditional support and understanding. I cannot recall a time when he received a call to return for work, a 2 a.m. phone call or miss dinner or family parties that Karen never said anything more than, ‘Okay. Just let me know when you will be home.’ ’’
Some village officials responded with tears to the news and lauded Knolmayer’s love and commitment, not only to the village, but to his family.
“We want to thank you for 28 years of outstanding service to the Village of Worth,” Mayor Mary Werner said, “Now you will be able to celebrate holidays and birthdays at home with your family, and spend more time with Karen, Zach and Ashley. You can do all of the things that you always wanted to do and never had the time to do.”
Trustee Pete Katz agreed, “I also want to thank his family for their dedication and the things that they missed out on with him because of his job. I know it has been tough, but I want to thank you as well.”
Knolmayer was hired onto the Worth Police Department in 1986 and assigned the position of patrol officer where he served for 10 years. He was then assigned an open investigation spot where he continued to work for the next 14 years.
While at that post, he also worked with the South Suburban Major Crimes Unit. From there, he was assigned to the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and worked with them for 11 years to investigate homicides and kidnappings. While working with that organization, he served as an investigator, squad leader, team leader and case manager.
“It was truly an honor for me to work with so many outstanding investigators,” Knolmayer said on behalf of working with the talk force.
Knolmayer became a sergeant of the Worth Police Department in 2000 and earned the promotion to lieutenant in 2006. He served as a proactive chief in 2010 and was appointed to the Chief of Police in 2011.
“I want to personally thank the chief,” Katz added, “After knowing him very well for seven to eight years he has become a friend of mine and I sincerely think of him as my friend. I wish him nothing but the best on his next chapter in life; because, I know whatever he chooses to do, he will do it well, as he has always done for the Village of Worth.”
“It has been an honor for me to serve the residents of Worth and it has been a privilege to work with the men and women in the Worth Police Department,” Knolmayer said, “I had the opportunity to make many friendships in my career. I will always value the support and the loyalty.”