Kenneth Reusnow offers a few comments after being honored by the Homewood Board of Trustees for his more than 48 years of service to the village police department. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
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Homewood honors Reusnow for nearly half a century of service to police department

Kenneth Reusnow offers a few comments after being honored by the Homewood Board of Trustees for his more than 48 years of service to the village police department. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Kenneth Reusnow offers a few comments after being honored by the Homewood Board of Trustees for his more than 48 years of service to the village police department. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Kenneth Reusnow left his mark on the Homewood Police Department. He retired for the second time from the Homewood Police Department on Aug. 30 after serving a total of 48 years and 10 months.

When the Homewood Board of Trustees honored Reusnow at its Sept. 26 meeting, Police Chief Denise McGrath introduced him and offered her thanks.

“Over the years he’s served in a variety of roles, but Ken was also my training officer back in 1995 when I started, so I just want to take this opportunity to express my personal thanks for all you have done for me and my career over the years,” she said.

Homewood Police Chief Denise McGrath, right, thanks Kenneth Reusnow for his nearly half century of service to the department. She said he was her training officer when she started with the department. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Homewood Police Chief Denise McGrath, right, thanks Kenneth Reusnow
for his nearly half century of service to the department. She said he was
her training officer when she started with the department.
(Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Mayor Rich Hofeld also added personal thanks to the longtime officer.

“Ken was the first police officer I ever rode with when I was a trustee in 1977,” he said. “He’s been exemplary. He’s a very modest man. Thank you for all you’ve done for everyone.”

A resolution honoring Reusnow’s accomplishments noted that he joined the department in May 1974 after serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, where he received a number of medals, including the Silver and Bronze stars.

He was one of the department’s first field training officers, and during his time in that role he trained 28 new officers, 10 of whom went on to become sergeants, one became deputy chief and one, McGrath, became chief.

He also received a number of awards and commendations during his police career, including the Homewood Area Chamber of Commerce 1975 Police Officer of the Year Award for the arrest of four armed criminals, the 1993 Police Officer of the Year Award for his exceptional contribution to the department’s field training program and the Cook County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Award of Merit in 1999 for performance beyond the call of duty.

Reusnow retired in 2003 after 29 years of service, then rejoined the department later that year as a reserve officer. He served as a community service officer since April 2004.

“It’s been a great ride,” Reusnow said. “The people that I served with, they’re very proud people. They love their job. They go out of their way to do the best they can. It’s going to continue that way forever, so you’re in good hands.”

The board also honored Vincent Starks, who retired from the police department on Aug. 31 after 21 years of service.

Starks was appointed to the role of field training officer in 2006 and helped mentor new members of the department. He was appointed field training coordinator in 2021. 

He also served a number of special assignments, including accident investigator and member of the Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team.

The resolution in his honor also noted that he “has received numerous letters of appreciation and commendations from the Homewood Police Department, private citizens, local businesses and other police agencies in the course of his career.”

Donald Dean takes the oath of office to join the Homewood Police Department at the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 26. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Donald Dean takes the oath of office to join the Homewood Police Department
at the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 26. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

In addition to the two retirements, trustees welcomed to the police department new officers Donald Dean.

Dean studied criminal justice at Purdue Calumet and is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. He served as a police officer since 1999 and most recently was employed by the Olympia Fields Police Department. 

Because he was already a certified police officer, he was able to bypass the police academy training requirement and immediately begin field training in Homewood.

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