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History of the Department

History of the Department

History of the Department

The history of the Addison Police Department began with the appointment of its first Village Marshall, Henry A. Overkamp, on October 13, 1884, shortly after the Village was incorporated. Overkamp later served two terms as Village President.

The first reference to the term "Policeman" occurred in 1898 when the Village Board appointed Henry "Hank" Senne to the position, authorizing as part of his duties, "To lock up vagrants and tramps in the evening in the village calaboose and release them the next morning, except when necessary to hold them longer." Senne served as Village Marshall through the 1920's and was then appointed Chief by the Village.

Photograph of Police Chief Henry "Hank" Senne

Following Senne were Henry Metz and Edward Kolvitz. In the early days of the Village, the terms "Village Marshall," "Village Constable," and "Policeman" were used interchangeably, and the Village Marshall was appointed to handle crime and administer justice. In addition to duties of a police nature, the Village Marshall also performed a variety of maintenance tasks. For example, an account of the services rendered by Village Marshall Henry Metz in August of 1944 includes the following activities: police duty at the fire department carnival, an afternoon police call regarding target practice, a telephone call to the FBI regarding a prisoner of war who had escaped from a prison camp at Hampshire, Illinois, funeral crossing service, back-filling on a water-trench job, sweeping Village street gutters and curbs, hauling several tons of crushed stone for streets and alleys, cleaning a manhole opening, collecting garbage, and flushing fire hydrants. The grand total charged to the Village for these services provided single handedly by Metz amounted to $32.83.

Photograph of Police Chief Edward Kolvitz

During the time Robert F. Tyrrell (1958) was Chief of Police, there were only four full-time members of the Police Department.

Until 1957, most of the Police Department records were kept in little black notebooks carried around by the officers. When Nels Anderson (1958 to 1966, 1967 to 1968, 1973 to 1974) was first hired as a part-time patrolman in 1950, there was only one police vehicle and it was not equipped with a radio. Instead, a red flag was raised at Fiene's Shell Station at Addison Road and Lake Street when a call came in for the police. When Anderson saw the flag raised, he would find a telephone and call Fiene's to see what the message was.

In 1958, when Anderson became Chief of Police, the Village Hall served as police headquarters. In 1960, the Village Board officially created the Police Department and bought the Lutheran Kinderheim School located at 131 W. Lake Street, which became the permanent site for the Police Department and Village Hall. The Police Department consisted of a small radio room, a lobby, a few offices and an old shower area which was made into a locker room for the officers. Much of the remodeling was done by the officers themselves. By 1964, however, the staff had increased to 21 full-time and 10 part-time employees. There were four police vehicles and innovative equipment including radar, a camera and a breathalyzer.

Vern K. Parrish (1966 to 1967) was named Chief of Police in 1966 in a reform effort by the Village, but resigned from the Department 15 months later.

The Department was then reorganized and expanded to allow for the increase in population and the resulting need for additional manpower. Victor E. Maul's (1968 to 1973) recommendations as Chief of Police included increasing manpower yearly as the population increased. A basic training course was initiated, and on-going training programs were planned. Until this time, the officers were required to purchase all their own equipment including uniforms, weapons and handcuffs. One recommendation was for the Village to purchase all the "tools of the trade."

Photograph of Addison Police Department in 1973

Another major point of Maul's long-range recommendation was a request for funding for a new police facility. The existing quarters lacked sufficient floor space and had no detention facility. During the summer months, prisoners were handcuffed to radiators, which were the only permanent fixtures strong enough to hold them. In the winter, when the heat was on, there was no place to hold a prisoner. Many times, prisoners escaped through a window, and officers were seen chasing them down Lake Street. Maul's plan also included the need for a pistol range, a complete new communications system, and an increase in the automotive fleet. The remainder of Maul's tenure saw many of these suggested improvements take place. However, his resignation in 1973 preceded the completion of the new police facility.

David M. Gellatly (1974 to 1980) was appointed Chief of Police in August of 1974 at the completion of the new police facility. The new quarters gave the Department a modern functional setting. It included an improved two-position communications center, a larger records center, a complete detention section, a garage, and a booking room. Within a short time, a computerized pistol range was installed, an exercise room was completed, and a women's locker/shower room was added. The officers donated furniture and accessories to complete a lunch area for Department members. Also during Gellatly's term, the Police Social Services Department came into being. It was renamed Family and Youth Services, providing many free services to citizens of Addison Township.

Photograph of Police Chief David Gellatly, Assistant Chief Nels Anderson, Operations Commander Lt. Alexander Gorr, and Lt. Emil Novotny in 1978

Alexander Gorr (1980 to 1984) began his career on May 1, 1967 as a patrol officer and implemented many changes in the Department as Chief of Police. He was the first police/school counselor assigned to Addison Trail High School and his service there laid the groundwork for all who followed in this duty.

Under the direction of Emil Novotny (1984 to 1989), the Police Department consisted of 49 police personnel and 36 civilians. During his tenure as Chief of Police, the Police Department created the Gang Crime Task Force, the Drug Awareness Resistance Education (DARE) program, and the Neighborhood Watch program, and the Detective Division went from three detectives to six.

Melvin L. Mack (1989 to 2003) made many changes to the Department as Chief of Police. He changed officer-issued weapons from the Smith and Wesson 45 to the Glock 40, stabilized beat assignments, created the Command Post concept and acquired a Command Post vehicle, oversaw the building renovations, and in partnership with the community introduced and obtained Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). Mack introduced Community Policing Principles to the Department and applied them to the Field Services Division. He brought in new technology that made real changes to the Department’s efficiency, computerizing the Records Department, installing dictation/transcription equipment for the writing of police reports, automating property and evidence control, computerizing and upgrading the Communications Department, and installing mobile data terminals in each squad car.

Mack was a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session 125, and while Chief of Police, he sent the command staff to the FBI National Academy. Mack also instituted a very aggressive anti-gang program and added technology to aid in criminal investigations. He expanded the Crime Prevention section, increasing community involvement by adding the Citizen Police Academy, the Explorer Post, the Volunteers In Policing program, and the Bicycle Patrol Unit, and by expanding the DARE program to all schools, adding 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th grades and high school. In 2000, the Addison Police Department received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and again in 2003. Mack came into the office of Chief of Police at a critical time and during his 15-year tenure brought professionalism and credibility to the Department.

Timothy "Bill" Hayden (2003 to 2023) was a career law enforcement veteran who rose through the ranks to become the Director of Police.  He began his career in March of 1978 as a Patrol Officer at the Lombard Police Department.  That same year, he was hired at the Addison Police Department and was fortunate to experience career advancement to his final position as Director of Police in 2003. Under Hayden's leadership, the Department embraced the principles of Community Oriented Policing, the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, and the Community Response Unit.

During Hayden's term, the Department experienced tremendous growth, with approximately 50 police personnel being added.  The Henry Hyde Resource Center, a neighborhood outreach center for both adult learning and after-school programming, was opened in 2007; and in 2011, the Addison Consolidated Dispatch Center (ACDC) was created.  ACDC provides dispatching services for approximately 15 police and fire agencies in DuPage County.  In 2018, ACDC moved into a new state-of-the-art facility in Addison.

The Department also received many awards throughout Hayden’s tenure.  In 2009 and again in 2016, the Department won the Traffic Safety Challenge sponsored by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and achieved national accreditation status in the years 2006 and 2009 and "Accreditation with Excellence" in the years 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2021. In November of 2023, Hayden retired after serving the Village of Addison for forty years.

Roy Selvik (2023 to present) was appointed Chief of Police in December of 2023. Chief Selvik oversees the day-to-day operation of the Department which includes 140 police personnel, 68 of which are sworn police officers.