Prepared remarks by President Lou Jogmen, Highland Park PD Chief

April 29, 2022

At the Annual Awards Banquet of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police
Northbrook, Illinois

"We have a lot to be proud of in Illinois law enforcement and I truly am optimistic about our path forward." 

President Jogmen was sworn in at the annual award banquet held Friday, April 29, 2022, in Northbrook. His prepared remarks from the evening are below. 

Good evening and thank you all. I am so, so happy to be here tonight, especially after last night’s Special Olympics Auction. I thought I might have had the shortest presidency in the history of the Illinois Chiefs because of a potential conflict with our Code of Ethics, specifically 4b, Members shall not seek favor or personal gain through their position. Let me explain. Special Olympics gave me the honor of picking the winning ticket in the last event of the night. People were extremely generous and purchased thousands of tickets for the final prize, a wall of extremely nice bottles of bourbon. Almost everyone was tuned in, waiting to see if they would walk away with the goods. Almost everyone except my wife, Mindy who was having a conversation. Well, I reached into a tub of thousands of little tickets and pulled the winner out. After everyone searched and compared numbers, I heard an enthusiastic “I have it. I won!” That enthusiastic person was my wife, Mindy.

Well although the bourbon loving attendees were telling me it was ok and all above board, I remember seeing a movie called Quiz Show, which was about the rigged TV game shows in the 50’s. I was not about to go there before I was even sworn in. So I quickly pivoted and with the help of our new Parliamentarian, Chief Steve Casstevens, we immediately started a first come, first serve mini auction. I never knew there were so many people in this association who enjoyed bourbon. However, it became evident as they stormed the table, cash in hand. Some of the good news, I kept myself out of trouble, we made some bourbon fans very happy and we raised about $700 in additional funds for Special Olympics. The not so good news is that I looked over at Mindy and she looked like someone took her ice cream cone and threw it on the ground. In the bedlam, she could not understand how and why I was saying that we could not win. Like any of us, she was just so happy to have won something but she did not know until later that it was me who pulled the winning ticket and then she totally got it. She agreed that the perception could have been complicated. Probably most important, though, in all of this is, Mindy does not drink. Never has. That bourbon would have gone to waste.

Let me say just how incredibly honored and humbled I am to have been chosen to serve in this role and I greatly appreciate the trust our members have placed in me. I want them, and all of you to know, that I understand the full weight of that trust, I do not take it for granted and I will work each day to ensure that your trust in me was not misplaced.

I am committed to working with our board, our committees and our membership to tirelessly advocate for, and to support our police officers, honorable public safety in our communities and to especially work for those who have been victimized by crime. I will work to continue the Association’s priorities in advancing the professionalism of law enforcement, continue to grow our partnerships in public safety and will ensure that all Illinoisans recognize what I see in our police officers. That they are uncompromisingly committed to the people and communities they serve, are unmatched in their professionalism in their delivery of their services and that they are relentless in their pursuit of fair and just policing within the framework of the 10 Shared Principles of Public safety.

It is fitting that this week is National Crime Victims' Rights Week. In law enforcement, we have a special relationship with victims. In fact, as can be seen tonight, our officers are far too often victimized themselves while working to protect others.

I want to take a few minutes to share with you why I, specifically have a special a relationship with crime victims, and police officers, why I am steadfast in ensuring their voices and stories are heard and why I will work to restore them to best possible outcome.

I grew up in Tinley Park, Illinois. My dad, Louis F. Jogmen left a secure job with Illinois Bell Telephone Company and became a Tinley Park Police Officer because he, like the rest of us in law enforcement, wanted to help people and to do his part to ensure a safe community.
Officer Jogmen served Tinley Park for a number of years when, on July 12, 1977, at about 1030 at night, he responded to a call for an armed robbery at a 7-11 convenience store. He had been on his way home for dinner and my mom was waiting for him. But he was the closest unit available so he made his way to the store.

Upon arrival, he did the things we do in law enforcement, he sized up the scene and assessed the legitimacy of the call. Not seeing anything from his initial location, he moved closer to building when he was suddenly and immediately confronted by young man holding a gun to the head of a woman. The young man, was yelling and angry, and pushed the woman out the door so she was between him and my dad.

My dad was just feet away from the two of them and the young man immediately began threatening to shoot the woman in the head. At that point, Officer Louis Jogmen made the only decision that he felt he could live with. He could not bear to see this woman killed. In that brief instance, he struck a deal with the suspect. My dad offered to exchange himself for her so that she could go free. Within just a few minutes after arriving, my father found himself handcuffed, placed face down on the pavement with his own gun, pointed at his head. The suspect did let the woman go free. As backup arrived, the young man could be seen standing over my dad waving the gun he brought with him at the responding units. Using my dad’s gun, he repeatedly struck him in the head and threatened to shoot him, calling him a pig, among other derogatory things. After only a few minutes, and I am sure it seemed like a lot longer to my dad, the young man asked him if he had any family.

My dad thought, he might be making progress and he said, “I do, as a matter of fact, I have a one year old baby boy at home”. The young man looked at him, and he said, “Well, you’re never going to see him again” and then pulled the trigger. He shot my dad, point-blank, in the head with his own gun while he was handcuffed; face down in a dirty parking lot.
The suspect was immediately shot by responding units, became a paraplegic and was ultimately convicted and sent to prison. My dad, incredibly, survived the shooting.

That is the only reason I know what truly happened that night. I was fortunate to be able to hear it from him. After several months in a coma, 20 plus surgeries and even with part of the bullet still lodged in his brain, my dad was eventually able to walk, to talk; he was able to drive a car. He was a miracle. If you did not know him before the shooting, and you did not see the scarring, you would not know he had been shot in the head. I had my dad until I was 16 when, on father’s day, he passed away due complications from cancer.

I was seven at the time of the shooting and I can remember just how chaotic the house was that morning. 100s of people. Cars parked up and down the street, on our front yard. Not what I was expecting for a summer day as a kid. Nevertheless, I am still, today, awestruck and impacted by the kindness and support of family, friends, strangers and the community. It was overwhelming and powerful. Even to a seven year old.

My family was restored because of the care and compassion of others. People we knew. And so, so many people we did not. While many people left an indelible impact on my family and I, two of them have influenced me, have imprinted on me and taught me why it is so, so important to support our victims and to care for them.

One of them was on scene the night my dad was shot, Officer Dave Peterson. He was there for my dad as a friend and as a colleague from that night on. Dave did everything he could that night to alter the outcome. He jumped from behind pillar to pillar, tried to distract, to persuade. He was invested to the highest degree. It was just not to be. He meant a lot to my dad. And the other, is the officer that took my dad’s place on the force, Officer Rick Bruno, now retired Commander Rick Bruno. Of course, my dad could never be a police officer again. But Rick, who never worked with my dad or even knew him, ultimately drove him to countless hours of therapy, doctor’s appointments, cut the grass, helped to maintain the house and a million other things for our family. The respect, empathy and selflessness displayed by such a young man is mind blowing.

They are here tonight and I want to thank them both for what they did and for setting the example on how we all can care for those victimized by crime. People like Dave and Rick set the example and as a young boy, gave me cause for optimism and hope. I have carried that with me to today. I proud of Illinois Law Enforcement. And I am optimistic about the future.

We have a lot to be proud of in Illinois law enforcement and I truly am optimistic about our path forward. Over the past several months, I have been throughout the state visiting our regionals police chief associations and have learned that they, too, feel that the Illinois Chiefs Association is on the right track. I was also encouraged to see the same optimism in law enforcement leaders throughout the state.

We truly have the finest officers and law enforcement leaders here in Illinois. We have developed great partnerships with the NAACP, Northwestern Center for Public Safety, The Unity Partnership and now 100 club. All designed to further enhance our relationship with our communities. We have led the way on professionalizing policing and have worked hard to ensure law enforcement contributes to public safety legislation. We all want the same thing. A safe Illinois. One where our officers come home safe after each shift. One where everyone feels safe in their home and on the streets. One where we always remember those officers who have given of themselves and who were called home way too early. Let’s keep doing what we do in Illinois law enforcement. Let’s continue to lead, to protect and to make sure everyone is safe. Everywhere.

On the battlefield at Gettysburg, 158 years ago, Abraham Lincoln said, “It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."

Tonight as we honor our fallen officers, let us also rededicate ourselves to their high ideals and great devotion. Let us live out their legacy of courage, sacrifice and service. Let us recommit ourselves to defending freedom, guarding peace and preserving justice. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute.
Over the course of the next year, I am committed to ensuring our officers are supported and feel supported. And I am similarly committed to making sure our communities have the confidence and trust in their police officers.

That is why I am so pleased to announce here tonight, an initiative that, I feel, will carry forward the historic work we have done with the 10 Shared Principles of Public Safety. It is called, 2 and 8 Across the State in 2022. As many of you know, the Illinois Chiefs and the Illinois State Conference of the NAACP collaborated on these groundbreaking, shared principles of effective and equitable public safety starting in 2015. Two of the people who worked so closely and so hard on this partnership are seated up here with us tonight, President of the Illinois State Conference of the NAACP, Teresa Haley and Criminal Justice Chair, Bob Moore.

I am proud of the fact that, in 2018, the Highland Park Police Department became the first department in Illinois to adopt the 10 Shared Principles which has now led to almost 300 other departments, from across Illinois, to do the same. I am working with the Illinois Chiefs Diversity Committee and President Haley and her team to develop a program, which will draw particular focus on Principle #2, which says "All persons should be treated with dignity and respect" and Principle # 8, which states:

We believe that law enforcement and community leaders have a mutual responsibility to encourage all citizens to gain a better understanding and knowledge of the law to assist them in their interactions with law enforcement officers.

Within these two Principles, I see our path forward as we come together, police and community, to understand each other and to work together in achieving public safety for all. We will be hitting the ground running and will have many more details in the next few weeks.

As we bring the evening to a close, I am hoping that you will raise a glass with me to toast, recognize and to thank some very special people:

  1. First and most importantly, our respect, admiration and gratitude to the all of the police officers who have left us way too early or who have been grievously wounded. Their work, their lives and all they have sacrificed have made it possible for all of us to live the way we do and they have helped to forge a path forward for law enforcement. And to their families and friends who, will always miss and love them, and who will keep their memories alive, may they know that we, and their communities, will always do the same and that we will always have a special place in our hearts for you and for the sacrifice and loss you have endured.
  2. To all of our police officers, throughout this country, and especially here in Illinois. Thank you for the work you continue to do, the commitment and professionalism you consistently display and for devoting yourself to a life of service. You are appreciated and loved by so many. The great Athenian general, Thucydides said it best over 2000 years ago, “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it”. Every time you put on the badge and uniform, you do this and we are forever grateful to you because you do.
  3. To the ILACP staff. You are a small group but mighty in you work and deeds. You all definitely represent quality over quantity. An organization is a living system and its employees are the lifeblood. Ed, Kenny, Carmen, Karen, Krista and Amy, thank you.
  4. To our partners the 100 Club, the NAACP, the Unity Partnership and to all of the organizations who are partnered with the ILACP in our pursuit of effective public safety, guided by the Ten Shared Principles.
  5. A big thank you to our sponsors here this evening. They have all been displayed on the screens and are listed in your programs. Our event would not have been possible without them. A special thanks to my home association, the Lake County Chiefs of Police for their financial contribution and their support of my work on the Board. And a very special thanks to Reyes Montemayor and his company Waterview Films. He worked tirelessly to create the visual experience here this evening.
  6. Finally, a toast to everyone here tonight, particularly our award recipients. Whether you are here to support law enforcement, the 100 Club, the families of our Valor Award recipients, or the recipients of the one of the other awards. Thank you. Your support here tonight and throughout the last few years, especially, has meant the world to all of us in Illinois Law Enforcement.

Thank you for helping me to thank those people. I just have a few more people I would, personally, like to thank, to recognize and to toast:

  1. Thank you to all of my family and close friends who’ve come out tonight to celebrate and to honor law enforcement and to show their support and friendship to me as I embark on this journey. Your love and friendship mean the world to me. A special thanks to my friends from Park Ridge, Prospect Heights and the traveler’s award goes to one of my friends and mentors, retired FBI Special Agent, Brian Murphy and his wife Shannon who came in from Virginia last night. And a big thank you to Highland Park Resident Marc Schwartz for supporting the 100 club and buying five tables so members of area law enforcement could join us here tonight.
  2. To Mayor Nancy Rotering, the City Council, City Manager Ghida Neukirch and the senior executive team here tonight, and those who were unable to attend. I so greatly appreciate having the opportunity to work with you all each day. I have never seen such a dynamic, professional and effective team and I feel so lucky to be part of it. I so greatly appreciate your support, which will allow me to serve in this position and will give me an opportunity to positively impact public safety throughout Illinois.
  3. To each and every member, of the Highland Park Police Department, thank you. DC Bill Bonaguidi, Commanders Jerry Cameron, Chris O’Neill and Jenny Olson. Thank you for your leadership, your teamwork and for continuing to do whatever needs to be done. To the rest of the department, you all represent the finest in law enforcement and inspire me to do my best. The work you all do day in day out, the commitment and integrity you demonstrate and the sacrifices you make all serve as a constant reminder why the work we do an Association is so important. I am honored and privileged to work with you all. Highland Park is lucky to have you.
  4. To the ILACP Board, our committees and to our members. It has been so incredibly rewarding to work alongside you all over the past few years and to learn from you. Thank you for helping to make this a pre-eminent, professional law enforcement association. I have appreciated your partnership and look forward to working together as we chart a path forward for Illinois Law Enforcement. I also appreciate the opportunity the membership has given me to serve in this role and to lead this organization over the next year. I pledge to you all that I am committed to continuing the good work of the association and am optimistic about our future. Thank you to all of the past presidents. And thanks to Mitchell Davis the third for a momentous year and for handing keys of a finely tuned organization over tonight. I will work hard so that I can do the same a year from now when Chief Laura King is sworn in as the Association’s first female president.
  5. Thank you to my kids. MacKenzie, Nate and Izzie. I recognize that it is not always easy being a police officer’s son or daughter. And it has been even a little tougher as of late. So, I just need you to know that I appreciate each of you for who you are individually and for the work you put into being the child of a police officer even though it was not a choice you made. I am proud of you all and love you so, so much.
  6. Finally, to my, incredible, beautiful wife, Mindy. You are my everything. You are the fuel that keeps me going during the day and the reason I cannot wait to get home at the end of the day. Your light shines on everyone and makes the world around you more beautiful. You breathe life into everything you do and take mine away every time I see you. I love you, not only for who you are, but more importantly, for who I am because of you. Thank you for loving me, for parenting with me, for supporting me whenever you can and more importantly, for guiding me whenever I need it. I love you.

Thank you all again and goodnight. 

About Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police  

Since 1941, ILACP has served as the professional development association for Chiefs of Police and other community leaders committed to public safety in Illinois. The statewide organization serves 1200 members working in more than 450 agencies, providing them with innovative services, training, and partnerships. ILACP advocates for legislation and policies that protect and improve police forces and the communities they serve.