From staff reports
Orland Park Police Chief Timothy McCarthy announced Wednesday he will retire effective Aug. 1.
McCarthy is famous for being the Secret Service agent wounded in 1981 during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
He has been chief of police in Orland Park for 26 years, since he retired from the Secret Service.
“Chief McCarthy, a longtime village resident, has faithfully and diligently served the village as its chief of police,” said Mayor Keith Pekau. “He has provided steadfast and dependable leadership to the men and women of the Orland Park Police Department throughout this entire period. I have appreciated and benefitted from his wise counsel since I’ve joined the village as mayor and remain thankful to have served the community alongside the Chief who has always been a consummate professional.”
“While he will be sorely missed by everyone,” said Pekau, “I know he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife of 47 years, three children, and seven grandchildren while seeking new opportunities to continue to serve his community and his country.”
Deputy Police Chief Joseph Mitchell will be appointed interim chief of police after McCarthy steps down.
During his 48-year career in law enforcement, McCarthy has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the NCAA Award of Valor, which he received in 1982 in recognition of the bravery he exhibited in saving former President Ronald Reagan in an assassination attempt on March 30, 1981.
The inaugural Chief of Police of the Year Award from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police was received by McCarthy in 2016 in recognition of his leadership and service.
McCarthy’s efforts have focused on transforming Orland Park’s Police Department into a 21st century model with an emphasis on transparency and robust community engagement efforts.
Under his leadership, the police department has engaged in a more collaborative approach to village-wide initiatives such as addressing mental illness through the implementation of the department’s nationally recognized Crisis Intervention Team focusing on response to mental health related incidents. In 2017, the department was the first agency internationally to complete the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s One Mind Campaign Pledge to enhance the interaction between law enforcement and those affected by mental illness.
McCarthy’s efforts also include lobbying on law enforcement issues, school safety and security, automating the Orland Park Police Department, the implementation of a numerous community policing initiatives and the use of NARCAN to help save those overdosing on heroin.
McCarthy and the Orland Park Police Department are actively involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run and fundraising for Illinois Special Olympics. The Orland Park Police Department was the first municipal police agency to receive a certificate of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration for the use of a drone.
McCarthy supervised the construction of the first LEED gold certified police station in the nation, worked to establish and lead the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, and also served for a time as Orland Park’s acting village manager.
McCarthy was appointed chief in May 1994. His Secret Service career included eight years assigned to the Presidential Protective Division in Washington, D.C., and 14 years as a criminal investigator in Chicago.
On March 30, 1981, McCarthy distinguished himself when he was shot while protecting President Reagan. He recovered from serious injuries and returned to work. He was promoted to several supervisory positions prior to retiring in October 1993 as the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office.
McCarthy graduated from Leo Catholic High School in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood of Chicago, has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as a Master of Science in Criminal/Social Justice from Lewis University.