Kankakee Police Department

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The uniform patch of the Kankakee Police Department.
The current Dodge Charger Kankakee Police cruiser.
1867, 1868, and 1869 John Rapp
1870 E. Simpson
1871 J.E.Langlois
1872, 1873 E. Simpson
1874, 1875 J. Frank Leonard
1876 O. Belisle
1877, 1878, 1879, 1880 S.D. Bucklin
1881, 1882 R.B. Hawkins
1883,1884,1885,1886 James Riley Jr.
1887, 1888 Frank Dugan
1-14-1889 (Appointed) William Gleason
4-15-1889 George J. Kelly
1891 James P. Russell
1892 Ben W. Rives
1893, 1894 Weston Boule
9-6-1894 James R. Russell
1895-1897 Charles B. Sherman
1897-1899 John C. Dolan
1899-1907 Sylvester J. Jackson
1907-1911 Alva (Al, Albert) N. Gathany
1911-1913 Sylvester J. Jackson
1913-1915 John H. Stack
1915-1917 James J. Quigley
1917-1919 L.B. (John) Rogers
1919-1921 Sam J. Kershaw
1921-1922 L.B. (John) Rogers
1922-1923 William L. Cantlin
1923-1925 Ven G. Beedy
1925-1927 William L. Cantlin
1927-1930 William G. Riley
1930-1933 John H. Stack
1933-1935 Patrick J. Duignan
1935-1943 L.B. (John) Rogers
1943-1944 Elmer S. Nelson
1944-1946 Eugene LaFontaine
1946-1950 Daniel E. Bergan
1950-1961 Wallace L. Flannery
1961-1965 Glenn Black
1965-1970 Thomas Maass
1970-1985 Dean R. Bauer
1985-1993 Timothy O. Nugent
1993-1994 (Acting) John E. Gerard
1994-2000 William Doster
2000-2010 Michael Kinkade
2010-Present Larry Regnier

Department Organization

The Kankakee Police Department has an authorized strength of 74. Currently the department stands at a strength of 69 sworn officers. Of those, 43 operate in the patrol division; 11 in investigations; 9 in KMEG (Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group), 2 in juvenile; and one in stolen auto. In addition, the Kankakee Police employ ten civilian employees. These jobs include records, technology and community service. The department’s annual budget in 2011 was $6,861,392.

2011 Kankakee Police Demographics

In 2011, the Kankakee Police department employed 49 white men, five white women, ten black men, one black woman and four Hispanic men. The civilian employee demographic was four white women, three white men, two Hispanic women, and one African American woman.

The Kankakee Police Department in 1892.


After receiving a charter from the Illinois General Assembly, the first election was held in Kankakee City on Tuesday, April 10, 1855. George Kerns was elected to the office of Constable and Collector becoming the first Kankakee City law enforcement officer. In 1865, under a special charter, the mayor-council form of government. The City Marshall was one of the City Officers elected each year in the City Election. The Mayor appointed the members of the police department.

The first record of a City Marshall was found in 1867, when John Raap was elected. The last City Marshall, James P. Russell, was elected in 1891. In 1892 , the city reorganized under the state's general law governing municipalities. Under this law the Chief of Police is appointed by the mayor, with the approval of the city Council. On Thursday April 28, 1892, Ben W. Rives was appointed Chief of Police by Mayor P.J. Kelly. For several years, the Chief of Police was also referred to as the City Marshall.

Events and Dates

In the years between 1892 to present day, there have been 23 Chiefs of Police and two acting Chiefs. The only Chief to retire on pension was Wallace L. Flannery who retired in 1961 after 22 years of service.

  • The Chief to serve the longest in that position was Dean R. Bauer, who was chief from 1970 to 1985 (fourteen years and five months).
  • The police officer to serve the most years on the department is Lieutenant Richard Wischnowski, who served from 1947 to 1982. Lt. Wischnowski served for 35 years and six months.
  • The Police Department has always been staffed by Sergeants, dating back to 1895. At that time there were two twelve hour shifts. The 1st Sergeant was in charge of the first shift (from 6:00am to 6:00PM). The second sergeant was in charge from 6:00pm to 6:00am) The two shifts continued until the late 1940's before three eight hour shifts were established.
  • On May 22nd 1900, a City Ordinance was passed creating the position of a man in citizen's clothes (City Detective). The first City Detective was W.E. Snyder on 5-23-1900, the last City Detective, under the ordinance, was Wallace L. Flannery on 10-03-45.
  • On 10-1-45, a City Ordinance was passed creating the ranks of Captain and Lieutenant and, eliminating the City Detective.
  • The first Captain was Wallace L. Flannery, who was elevated from the position of City Detective on 10-3-45. The last Captain was Virgil E. Jordan on 2-7-72. This position was only held by four officers.
  • On 2-7-72, a city ordinance was passed creating the position of Assistant Chief. The first Assistant Chief was Virgil E. Jordan appointed on 2-7-72. The last Assistant Chief was John E. Gerard 5-8-85. These were the only two officers who held this rank.
  • On 5-1-1921, Sergeant John Fairbairn became the first police officer to retire on pension after twenty years of service. On 10-19-1925 Desk Sergeant Joshua Watson became the second officer to retire after 20 years.
The Kankakee Police Department in 1910.

Civil Service

Prior to the establishment of the Civil Service Commission, or the Police and Fire Commission as it is known today, all appointments to the Police and Fire departments were made by the Mayor. When the Mayor changed so did the Police and Fire Departments. In 1923, Democrat Benjamin W. Alpiner was elected Mayor, running on the People's Party Ticket. Upon being elected Mayor, Alpiner fired the entire Police and Fire Departments.

On Tuesday September 4, 1928 a special election was held. The citizens of Kankakee voted in civil service, for Policeman and Fireman, by 430 votes. Following the election Mayor Louis E. Beckman appointed Fred Geisking, Fred Roach and Harry Topping to the Civil Service Commission. The first meeting of the Civil Service Commission was held on Monday October 8, 1928. Fred Geisking was elected chairman and City Clerk Harry C. Thompson was elected Secretary.

Fallen Officers

Three Kankakee Police Officers have died in the line of duty. They are: Patrolman August H. Dickman, Police Officer George Lezotte Sr., Patrolman Anthony R. Samfay.


Kankakee Police Beat Patrol Map

Click the image below to view the full sized beat patrol map.