Homewood's Police Chief William Alcott retires, Deputy Chief Denise McGrath promoted to chief

Time to read
3 minutes

Homewood's Police Chief William Alcott retires, Deputy Chief Denise McGrath promoted to chief

February 18, 2021 - 23:21
0 comments

Village of Homewood Police Chief William Alcott has announced his retirement from the Homewood Police Department effective Feb. 26 after more than 30 years of police service, including 22 years in Homewood. 

Alcott joined the department in 1998, rising through the ranks to become the chief of police in 2016.

Deputy Police Chief Denise McGrath will be promoted to chief of police, also effective Feb. 26.


William Alcott

“Chief Alcott has served our community for 23 years with irreproachable integrity, the highest standards of excellence and a deep commitment to providing effective community policing,” said Village Manager Jim Marino. “It’s because of his dedication, integrity, and leadership that Homewood has such an outstanding police department that keeps our community safe every day. It’s been an honor to work with him, and he will be sincerely missed, but his legacy will live on within the police department.”

Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld also expressed his appreciation for Alcott's service. He noted that Alcott always led by example, earning the respect of his staff.

“Homewood residents and business owners appreciate the leadership that Chief Alcott has provided to the Homewood Police Department,” said Hofeld. “His commitment to professional standards, innovative thinking, and community relations has been invaluable. We wish him well in his retirement.”

During his career in Homewood, Alcott served in both uniformed and investigative assignments. He was  team leader of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force (SSMCTF), a member of the Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team (SMART) and a Network 3 Tactical Unit Supervisor.

Alcott led several successful investigative campaigns, including the clearing of the cold case Hellstrom homicide from 1977.

Alcott acquired numerous accolades for his accomplishments throughout his career, including multiple honorable mentions, certificates of recognition, letters of appreciation, certificates of department commendations and exceptional service awards with the Homewood Police Department. 

These recognitions are in addition to commendations from the Cook County Sheriff’s Police, Cook County Commissioner Awards of Merit and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. He received a Certificate of Recognition/Meritorious Service Award from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the James J. Wade Outstanding Police Officer of the Year Award for 2007.

 

Alcott’s career:

  • 1998 – hired in Homewood.
  • 1999 – promoted to detective.
  • 2008 – promoted to sergeant.
  • 2008 – earned Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Management degree from Calumet College of St. Joseph.
  • 2010 – promoted to deputy chief.
  • 2010 – earned Master of Science Public Safety Administration degree from Calumet College of St. Joseph.
  • 2011 – Attended the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.
  • 2016 – January: promoted to interim chief of police.
  • 2016 – March: promoted to chief of police.

Professional associations:

  • South Suburban Association Chiefs of Police (SSACOP).
  • Illinois Association Chiefs of Police (ILACP).
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

“I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity afforded to me to serve this community as your chief of police. This has been a great experience for me and I pray I have served you well," Alcott said.

"Most of all, I would like to commend the men and women of the Homewood Police Department for their professionalism and unwavering dedication to duty. For without them and all of their hard work, the Homewood Police Department would not be what it is today; a professional police department that is community-service driven to keep our village and its citizens safe. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve and protect the citizens of Homewood alongside all of them," he said. 

"It is comforting to know that as I depart from my role as police chief, the community is being left with a police department that is well-equipped, trained and committed to serving the needs of Homewood. I am proud to call the Village of Homewood my home."

New chief
Deputy Chief McGrath was born and raised in Homewood. She began her career with Homewood Police Department in 1990 as a dispatcher. She has since held several positions within the department, including field training officer, detective, field training coordinator and detective sergeant, while working her way through the ranks to become deputy chief in 2012.


Denise McGrath

“McGrath is a great choice for chief of police; she has served in all areas of the department from patrol to detective to administration,” Hofeld said. “During her career, she has earned the respect of her peers throughout the Southland. We welcome Chief of Police Denise McGrath.”

“Deputy Chief McGrath’s dedicated service to the community and her experience in leadership roles including detective, sergeant, and deputy chief makes her well suited to become our next chief of police,” Marino said. “Her knowledge, skills and experience in law enforcement coupled with her 25 years of experience in our police department will provide a smooth and seamless transition. I look forward to Denise advancing the stellar work that Chief Alcott and his management team have done to build a highly skilled and capable police department. She is fully prepared to undertake new initiatives and rise to challenges facing law enforcement.”

During her tenure, McGrath developed and implemented the Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team (SMART), a multi-jurisdictional task force to investigate major traffic incidents, and she currently serves as president on the SMART Board. She is also a vital member of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force (SSMCTF).

Professional associations:

  • South Suburban Association Chiefs of Police (SSACOP).
  • Illinois Association Chiefs of Police (ILACP).
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
  • National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).
  • South Suburban Family Shelter – advisory board.

Education:

  • 2009 – Bachelor of Science in Public Safety Administration degree from Calumet College of St. Joseph.
  • 2011 – School of Police Staff and Command from Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.
  • 2013 – Master of Arts in Criminal Justice.