Jax Police Chief says retirement is coming “in the near future”

By Ryne Turke on September 28, 2016 at 12:41pm

Jacksonville’s Police Chief says its time for a “fresh set of eyes” to take over the role he’s held the last seven years.

This morning, Tony Grootens confirmed his plans with WLDS-WEAI News to leave the Jacksonville Police Department. Grootens feels his time in Jacksonville has been wonderful and is proud of the accomplishments law enforcement has attained under his watch.

“It’s been an honor and pleasure to serve the people of Jacksonville. I’m very grateful to the mayor for the opportunity. I’ve accomplished a lot of things I wanted to get accomplished, the biggest of which is the training center south of town. It will be beneficial to the JPD and City of Jacksonville for years to come. It will be something we look back on and be very thankful that we did,” says Grootens.

Grootens says the training center should be completed by the end of the month.

As for the officers, detectives and staff at the Jacksonville Police Department…

“Jacksonville is very lucky to have the dedicated men and women working at the police department. The guys and gals that work there are nothing but wonderful. They make this community great and work hard on behalf of the city to make this community great. I couldn’t be more proud,” says Grootens.

A conclusive date hasn’t been set for Grootens’ departure. After a meeting with Mayor Andy Ezard, Grootens agreed he would be leaving the JPD “in the near future.”

Grootens doesn’t have any plans set in stone after retirement, but could take over a chief deputy role in Adams County if Jon McCoy is elected sheriff in November.

Looking back at Grootens’ law enforcement career, he began with the United State Air Force Security Police in 1973. Before joining the JPD, Grootens worked with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department in Quincy as a Deputy, the Illinois State Police west central drug task force and became a Special Agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.