Being a top cop in a small town has its perks and oddities. Take Marine Police Chief Perry Friddle, for instance. The police chief said his arm gets sore occasionally after waving too much.
As Friddle sees it, waving is just good public relations.
The chief said he even knows all 910 Marine residents on a first-name basis.
But all good things must come to an end. Friddle recently submitted his resignation, effective Oct. 1.
My time has come, he said.
Friddle has more than 50 years in law enforcement. He has spent the last 22 1/2 years with the Marine Police Department.
When Friddle started in Marine, he recalled the village having only a full-time police chief, and two part-time officers, including himself.
The Marine Police Station, if you can call it that, was only a corner desk inside village hall. Marine also had only one patrol car. Today, Marine has a police station, which is attached to village hall.
Marine has two squad cars, a 2006 Chevrolet and a 2006 Ford, which the village bought used from the Madison County Sheriffs Department.
In addition to Friddle (who works full-time), the village has four part-time police officers. Marine is also covered by the Madison County Sheriffs Department.
Since coming to Marine, Friddle has also helped to modernize the police department.
When I started here, we didnt have a computer, he said.
His department has a computer now, as well as a finger print machine and Tasers.
In short, Friddle who has only had to draw his gun twice during his time in Marine will be leaving the police department in much better shape from the day he started there. But Friddle doesnt like to take all of the credit for those accomplishments. The chief prefers to defer the credit to the Village Board, and to the Marine residents.
Friddle had more than 28 years experience in law enforcement before coming to Marine in 1991. After a six-year stint with the U.S. Army, Friddle went to work with the Wilmington, Ill. Police Department, where he worked two years. He then accepted a job with the Will County Sheriffs Department, where he spent 24 years. Friddle and his wife then moved to Collinsville, where he planned to retire.
But a person can do only so much work around the house, he laughed.
Friddle applied and accepted a part-time job with the Livingston Police Department, where he worked for a little over one year. While working in Livingston, Friddle overheard Marine was looking for a part-time police officer. Friddle applied and was hired for the job, which paid a little more than $6 an hour.
Friddle was appointed as Marines full-time police chief in 1993.
Friddle said he is going to miss working in law enforcement, and in Marine.
The town has changed tremendously over the years, he said. But Marine remains a super community. Everyone who lives here is tremendously nice... I can honestly say there arent any bad people who live here.