Interview with retiring Roscoe Police Chief Jamie Evans: “I’ve loved every minute of it”
It’s been over 24 years since Chief Jamie Evans began her career in law enforcement with the Roscoe Police Department. At that time, she was one of two females in the department, under Chief Dick Lee.
Her road to becoming Roscoe’s Chief of Police started when she was 19, working as an Ogle County 911 dispatcher. After two years as dispatcher, she learned that the Roscoe Police Department was hiring. She applied and was hired. “My parents weren’t happy about it at first.”
After being accepted, she attended the police academy for three months training, then back to Roscoe, where she began her career as a patrolman. Through the years, she gained experience in every department. She was promoted to sergeant, then detective. "I liked doing research and learning about law."
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In 2008, Evans was appointed Chief of Police by former Village President Dave Krienke, becoming the first female officer in Winnebago County or Boone Counties to hold the position.
Under her guidance and leadership, the Roscoe Police Department has become a state-of-the-art law enforcement agency. The department has grown to 15 officers.
Among her achievements: Evans led the way in fighting for the construction of the
new police department building in 2018, she increased and modernized the patrol car fleet, she updated equipment, and she oversaw the arduous process of obtaining Tier One status through the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP), the standard bearer of excellence in law enforcement departments in the state.
“Getting the accreditation in 2020 was probably the highlight of my career. It was a long and difficult process.”
In 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was in treatment for 1 ½ years. “Thankfully, the village put me in positions I could handle at the time.”
Because of health concerns, Evans has officially retired as of April 1, 2023. Leaving will be bittersweet. “I have loved every minute of my law enforcement career, especially as detective and as chief.”
Evans is the daughter of Linda and Jim Ray. She was born and raised in Byron, IL.
She is married to Brian Evans, and lives in South Beloit, IL. The couple have one child, Kaitlyn, who is working on a master’s degree at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.
Retirement does not mean Evans will be idle. She has numerous plans. Her bucket list includes writing a book about police work, traveling, and getting more deeply involved with charity work.
She is currently Vice President of the Tommy Corral Memorial Foundation, a suicide prevention and grief counseling service, and she volunteers for Justice for a Cure, a not-for-profit agency based in Madison, WI that promotes cancer awareness and cancer research.
Evans said she would like to continue teaching health and first aid classes as she has done for several years.
Another bucket list item: “I am going to take horseback riding classes and would like to volunteer for Brave Hearts,” a therapeutic horse and education center in Harvard, IL.
“Brian and I will probably stay here after I retire, and will go someplace warm for the winter.”
Evans handed over the reins to her successor, Deputy Chief Sam Hawley at the April 4 village meeting. She and Hawley joined the police department at the same time. “Sam is the logical and best officer for the job.”
The Roscoe community is invited to a reception honoring her as a pioneer of local law enforcement and her service to the Roscoe community on April 11, 2023 at 6 pm, at the Roscoe Police Station, 10595 Main St. The public is invited to attend.
She will also be honored at a farewell event on April 13, at Mary's Market, 4866 Bluestem Rd. in Roscoe, 4 -7 p.m.
“I have no regrets. I have loved every minute of my law enforcement career. I would not be leaving if it were not for my health.”
Tributes to Retiring Chief Jamie Evans
Chief Sam Hawley
“I will be following the path of Chief Evans. My goals are to continue to give the Roscoe community high quality service, protection and a safe place to live.”
President Mark Szula
“Jamie has always put her heart and soul into her job as Chief. She has been a leader and is the kind of person that demands excellence. She has never been afraid to take on a challenge.”
Village Administrator Scott Sanders
"I only had the opportunity to overlap the past seven years of Chief Evans' impressive tenure. It has been a privilege and an honor to work with her and observe her leadership. She brought the Roscoe Police Department into the modern era and recognized the value of training, mental health and continued education... Jamie blazed a trail for women in law enforcement becoming the first female Chief in Winnebago and Boone Counties. She leaves behind a legacy of professionalism that has come to define the Roscoe Police Department. My sentiment at her retirement is simply one of gratitude. I look forward to seeing what she will accomplish next.
Incoming Village President Carol Gustafson
"Chief Evans' integrity, dedication and concern for others are an inspiration to all. Under her focused leadership, the Roscoe Police Department has earned many accolades and has established its reputation for exemplary community service. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to know and work with her."