Metro-East News

For police chief, his second retirement will be a permanent one

Retiring Shiloh Police chief Jim Stover.
Retiring Shiloh Police chief Jim Stover.

Jim Stover insists his second retirement is going to last a lot longer than his first one.

In October 2006, Stover retired from the O’Fallon Police Department after a 29-year career that saw him rise to the rank of captain. By November 2006, Stover had landed a new job as police chief of the Shiloh Police Department.

On Dec. 31, he’ll end a more than 10-year run with the Shiloh police force as he retires for a second time. Factoring in a year and a half that he spent in North Carolina when he started his law enforcement career, Stover will have more than 40 years of police work in when he hangs up the badge for good.

“I’ve just decided it is time to let someone younger get in and do some stuff,” the 63-year-old Stover said. “It’s been a fantastic experience. The officers who work in Shiloh are outstanding. We’ve had our ups and downs, but it has been a great experience.”

Whoever takes over Stover’s post will lead a police force that has 19 officers, including the chief and deputy chief. Gary McGill has been the force’s deputy chief since 2000 and has been with the department since June 1988. He is one of the longest-tenured employees in the village.

Shiloh Mayor James Vernier said Stover was instrumental in helping the police department grow over the last decade. Vernier said the number of officers in the department has nearly doubled during Stover’s tenure. Vernier said the department has two full-time detectives and two records employees, things the department lacked prior to Stover’s arrival.

Stover also helped the department transition from a small workspace inside Village Hall — a space that Vernier said is now used for a lunch room — into a bigger work area near a shopping center at 3498 Lebanon Avenue. While that move tripled the space the police department had to work, Vernier said the department has outgrown it. He is hopeful the village will be able to build a new Village Hall that would include space for the police department. The village currently leases space for the police department from Wilke Window and Door.

“I certainly appreciate everything that (Stover) has done for our community and the department,” Vernier said. “One of the first things he did as chief was help us move to the facility that we are using now.”

Vernier said the village will advertise for the opening. Stover’s replacement will be appointed by Vernier with approval by the village board.

Stover has no set plans for his latest retirement. He plans to spend time with his wife, Pam, and their three daughters and grandchildren.

Don O'Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND