Photo by Joe Boyle
Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett presents a watch to Paul Madigan, who retired as police chief on Oct. 31. Madigan had served as the police chief of Palos Hills since 1993.
By Joe Boyle
While two Palos Hills police officials received promotions last week, it was also time to say goodbye and honor the career of the retired chief.
The Palos Hills City Council recognized the promotions of the two officers to higher positions during last week's meeting. The moves were necessitated in part due to the retirement of Chief Paul Madigan, whose last day was on Oct. 31. He served as the city's chief for 27 years.
Jeff Cucio, who was a Deputy Chief of Police, was promoted to replace Madigan as the police chief of the city on Nov. 1.
Detective Sergeant Joe Collecchia was promoted to lieutenant. He was hired in December of 2000. While in the patrol division, he served as a member of the 5th District SWAT Team as a sniper and entry team operator, traffic enforcement officer and motorcycle officer.
While in the Criminal Investigations Division, he served as a juvenile officer. He was also a member of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force.
Detective Brad Fletcher was promoted to sergeant. He was hired in December of 2007. While in the patrol division, he served as a field training officer, breath alcohol operator, and range instructor to include weapons armorer.
While in the Criminal Investigations Division, Fletcher served as a juvenile officer, was a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a member of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, and interdiction for the Protection of Children trainer.
They were both sworn in during the meeting by Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett, who also provided each with their badges.
Bennett hailed both as dedicated and hard working. He also complimented Madigan, who was present at the meeting, for his foresight and ability to train and work with members of the force. It was through Madigan's efforts, according to Bennett, that the Palos Hills Police Department is so well prepared and able to take on various tasks to keep the community safe.
The mayor also honored Madigan at the meeting.
"What you have accomplished in your 27-year career as a chief is quite a feat," Bennett told Madigan. "It is quite remarkable and your long 49-year career is also remarkable. You have professionalized the department and the community is much safer for it. You and the officers are the reason that year in and year out Palos Hills is among the lowest crime areas in the state."
Madigan was appreciative of the kind words.
"I will not be a stranger, I will be around," Madigan told the board. "It's been a long ride. I'd like to say it was my military training that helped me prepare our next officers. I think that helped but I give credit to them for their hard work."
Madigan had previously joked that when other officials retired, how come they did not receive a watch? The mayor had a surprise for Madigan. Along with the plaque, Bennett presented a watch to a pleased retired chief.
"You did a great job but I know the officers we now have are up to the job because of the training you gave them," Bennett added.