Our history...

Early law enforcement for the Village of Spring Grove was handled by constables.  One of the primary duties back around 1910 was for Constable Mike Rauen to stand under a light post that was placed in the center of the intersection of Main & Blivin and direct traffic.

Harvey Petska was the first recorded Chief of Police.  He worked out of his home and used a vacuum tube radio in his personal vehicle to transmit information to and from his wife who answered the non-emergency calls that rang to their home phone.  At this time the department was all part-time and the officers patrolled when they weren't working at their full-time jobs.

The first jail cell was located behind the buildings now located at 2019 Main Street and was known as the Calaboose.  It was primarily used for those who imbibed too much at the local saloons and was built slightly over the creek so that outhouses would not be needed.  Part of the foundation of this old jail is still visible according to local reports.

Chief Petska resigned in 1967 and Willie Bychowski took over the position.  He established a regular patrol schedule and bought the first vehicle for the department, a 1967 Plymouth Fury. Chief Bychowski's brother was the Chief of Police in Bayfield, Wisconsin and donated the light bar for the squad.

The department's first office was in the back room of Chief Bychowski's home at 8008 Blivin Street. The room was only used for administrative processing with all arrests being transported to the McHenry County Jail.  During Chief Bychowski's tenure two notable incidents took place.  A traffic accident took place at the intersection of Route 12 and Winn Road which claimed the lives of 5 people. Another incident was a milk truck hitting and killing two pedestrians.  The milk truck then overturned spilling milk in the ditch line which curdled and produced a foul odor for days.

The next Chief was Charles Wagner after the untimely death of  Chief Bychowski in 1978.  At this time the Police Department was moved into the building occupied by the Fire Department located at 1924 Main Street.  In 1979 the Department hired it's first full-time officer based on a grant that funded the training of Officer David Tilstra.  Mr. Clarence Miller who was a Spring Grove resident who spent his winters in Arizona loaned his garage to the department so they could keep the squad car indoors during inclement weather.

In 1981, the full building was purchased from the Fire Department and the Police Department occupied the lower level.  A jail cell was constructed in one corner of the room, and the cell door was built of octagonal bars weighing 400 lbs.  It was from the turn of the century and was obtained from the Winnetka Village Hall.

In July of 1991, the Police Department moved into the new Municipal Centre at 7401 Meyer Road where it resides to this day.  The current department is made up of experienced, professional individuals who are dedicated to safety and service to the Village and its residents. Chief Sanders promotes a community-policing approach and encourages Officers to interact with the community through a number of different programs.

For two interesting police stories from yesteryear click on the links below:

Mysterious Deaths on English Prairie

George Nelson Bank Robbery


 

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