Paul Serwatka Nominates Michael Roth as New Lakewood Police Chief

A message from Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka:

In follow up to yesterday’s newsletter regarding the resignation of our Chief of Police, Leigh Rawson, I wanted to bring you up-to-speed with the following:

As village president, I have selected Lakewood Police Sgt. Michael Roth to be appointed as Chief of Police for the Village Of Lakewood. This appointment, of course, is subject to the “advice and consent of the board” and will be presented to the board at our June 27th village board meeting.

Given the information as I am providing to you today, I fully anticipate the express consent of the board for this appointment of Sgt. Roth as our next Chief of Police, beginning on July 3rd, 2017.

Sgt. Roth was formerly a 28-year veteran of the Cary Police Dept with the last 20-years being in a management and leadership capacity – retiring from The Cary Police Dept. as Deputy Chief, in 2014.

He subsequently joined the Lakewood Police Dept. in August, 2014 and was promoted to Sergeant in April of 2015.

As a Lakewood Police Sergeant, Mike has earned the respect of his fellow officers as being a “hands-on, very proactive leader, who takes great pride in, and works tirelessly toward, the betterment and professionalism of the Lakewood Police Dept.”

Mike has also earned the respect and praise of many Lakewood residents who have interacted with him in our community.

“Promoting From Within”

I believe that promoting internally or “from within” is an invaluable practice that should be implemented whenever there is personnel qualified to make it possible to do so – and I believe this is clearly the case with Sgt. Roth.

Not only does promoting from within help to minimize a critical transition and tremendously cut down on learning curves – but, as a former firefighter/paramedic, I believe that equally as important is the fact that it inspires the rank-and-file officers. It motivates them to work diligently, to seek additional training & continued education, to stay the course and to work to excel. It sends the message that becoming the Chief someday is attainable and gives them something to strive for.

An Integral Part of The Transformation

With this appointment, we are essentially working to transform our Police Dept. along with the rest of our administration – with the ultimate goal being a more efficient and effective village government.

Concerning our Police Dept. specifically, we have assembled a written plan, developed largely by our anticipated new Chief of Police, Michael Roth, that creates a higher degree of public safety as well as efficiency.

This plan provides for a greater police presence via increased police patrol, increased supervisory roles, additional formal training, revamping of antiquated and absent policies, procedures and ordinances, scheduling changes and salary restructuring – and the best part – all of this, with zero increase in budget and potentially even a savings!

We will also be implementing new programs with a focus toward community interaction.

Over-all, I am very excited to be a part of this transformation of our Lakewood Police Dept. I believe this will prove to be an invaluable adjunct to the transformation of our village board and administration – as well as an integral and synergistic element of a new and better Lakewood!

Some of Sgt. Roth’s Qualifications, Accomplishments and Accolades are listed below.

As always, your thoughts, questions and concerns are always welcome and always valued.



  • Illinois State Police Academy Graduate – 1985
  • Police Supervisor Course Graduate, Northwestern University – 1999
  • School of Police – Staff and Command, Northwestern University – 2012
  • Strategic Management Course, Southern Police Institute – 2014
  • Chief Executive Leadership – Southern Police Institute – 2016
  • Managing the Small Law Enforcement Agency, ILETSB Executive Institute – 2016
  • Total Police Training Hours over 1600.
  • Public Information Officer
  • Crisis Intervention Team Member
    · FOIA Officer
  • Helped Develop Cary’s Emergency Operations Plan
    · Former Coordinator – Special Olympics Torch Run
    · Coordinator – McHenry County Shop with a Cop
    · High School Football Coach – 1991,1992
    · Semi-pro Football Coach – 2005


· Numerous letters of commendation over the years.
· 2012 Chief’s Commendation Award for work ethic and commitment to the community as well as the department.
· 2012 Award for Cary Police Department Employee of the Year
· 2013 Meritorious Service Award


· Deputy Chief of Police, 2014
· Acting Chief of Police, 2013 – 2014
· Sergeant of Operations and Investigations, 2013
· Patrol Sergeant, 1995 – 2013
· Police Officer, 1985 – 1995


As always, your thoughts, questions and concerns are always welcome and always valued.


Paul Serwatka Nominates Michael Roth as New Lakewood Police Chief — 27 Comments

  1. Mike Roth is a terrific human being and police officer.


  2. Looks like a high school graduate with nothing in a career to demonstrate out of the box thinking.

  3. Lakewood getting new blood in all over the place.

    Best of luck to Lakewood and this young man who is now Police Chief!

    Good job, Mayor!

  4. If hiring a Police Chief requires the ““advice and consent of the board”, should the acceptance of a resignation not also require: “advice and consent of the board”?

  5. “Not only does promoting from within help to minimize a critical transition and tremendously cut down on learning curves – but, as a former firefighter/paramedic, I believe that equally as important is the fact that it inspires the rank-and-file officers. It motivates them to work diligently, to seek additional training & continued education, to stay the course and to work to excel. It sends the message that becoming the Chief someday is attainable and gives them something to strive for.”

    First off, Mike Roth will make an excellent Police Chief.

    However, I believe Chief Roth left the department just a few weeks ago.

    I am not sure why exactly.

    This does means he was in fact, not a member of the department when Paul “promoted from within.”

    Paul you did a good job bringing back a solid police chief.

    You didn’t have to taint it by lying.

  6. “Ben” – (Jason McMahon) aka “Little Erin Smith”

    Do you wake up each morning looking for ridiculous, non-existent axes to grind axes to grind?

    Or do you just wait for an itinerary from your puppet master?

  7. Ben / Jason McMahon – For a trustee (albeit an appointed trustee) you continue to be most untrustworthy!

    As is typical – Your “facts” are simply not true.

    Sgt. Roth did not “leave the dept a few weeks ago” and, I was told he is, in fact, still on the pay roll!

    But that is neither here nor there!

    Even if he had left the dept. weeks ago, as you falsely state, every point Serwatka made, as you highlighted in your post above, remains entirely true.

    The transition and learning curve would still, in fact, be greatly minimized.

    His promotion would, in fact, still motivate rank and file officers.

    It would, in fact, still send the message that becoming chief is attainable.

    It would, in fact, still be considered “from within” by any sensible person.

    All this aside, this is a win for Lakewood residents and a win for Lakewood Police Officers!

    Why, Jason McMahon, do you once again seek to sour an otherwise sweet pot?

  8. I am not Ben and specifically authorize Cal to confirm.

    Try again Paul.

    I use my real name.

  9. Cal has no way of verifying nor confirming what email address belongs to whom.

    Nor, How many different email addresses one uses.

  10. S. Prichard: You base this on what?

    When is the last time you added an i.d. and did not include an email address?

  11. Questioning, when have you ever had to provide your actual identity in order to post under any i.d./screen name or use any email address?

    Surely you’re not suggesting that Call knows the actual identity behind each screen name and email address used to post on this blog.

  12. Thank you S. Prichard, Patrick McHenry and Federal Farmer for digging your own hole.

    I have never once made a personal attack on you, yet you continue your attempts to assail my character.

    What you do not know is that I personally know someone that has worked under Mike Roth in Cary. I spoke with my contact and Mike Roth was highly recommended.

    I fully intend to support him for Police Chief.

    HOWEVER, we are governed by State Statue and our own ordinances. Those laws must be followed. Usurping those laws is a dangerous slope.

    1. Paul Serwatka does not have the authority to accept the resignation of our Police Chief.

    The Chief position is currently a position hired by our Village Manager.

    The Village Manager should accept his resignation.

    2. Paul Serwatka does not have the authority to appoint a new Police Chief.

    By ordinance, the Police Chief is a position hired by the Village Manager typically with Board approval.

    This is a form of checks and balances.

    3. MOST IMPORTANT – An ordinance, removing the checks and balances is proposed for our June 27, 2017 meeting.

    The proposed ordinance is attempting to take the authority to hire our Police Chief from our Village Manager and confer it on the Village President.

    This is a terrible idea for several reasons.

    First, It will put this new Chief and ALL future Chiefs in a bad position; creating a huge opportunity for impropriety.

    As an appointed position, the Chief would now serve SOLEY at the discretion of the Village President meaning the President can FIRE HIM AT WILL.

    This puts the Chief in a terrible position.

    What happens when the President or a future President, his family or friends get a traffic ticket, into a neighbor dispute, an ordinance violation, marital dispute, DUI or any number of other issues? The opportunity for the President to abuse the Chief is frightening!

    This new policy would be a step backward for government transparency.

    What happens when a future President has a friend that can’t get hired as a Police Officer and pressures the Chief using his job as leverage?

    Second, Appointed positions may only last the length of the President’s term.

    This could create turnover every 4 years at the very least and would not be good for the stability of our Police Department.

    Third, it creates the potential for a paid patronage job in Lakewood.

    We do not want future President’s rewarding their friends with jobs for which they are not qualified.

    Currently, the Village Manager posts the job, reviews all applicants and submits qualified applicants to the Village Board for approval.

    Under the new process, the Village President can select anyone he would like and gain Board approval.

    I support the hiring of Mike Roth, however, I do not support the dangerous ordinance amendment on page 36 of the Board packet.

    Please come out on June 27, 2017 and support the PROPER hiring of Mike Roth.

  13. Jason McMahon, if only you had a clue of how misinformed and factually incorrect you were about so many things.

    Do you, or have you ever, sought reliable information before you ran your mouth and made a complete fool of yourself?

    By the way, who IS Lakewood’s Village Manager currently?

    And at what point did the chief of police become hired by the manager in Lakewood?

    Was that always the case?

    Or did perhaps a certain Village manager with an agenda change that ordinance to suit her agenda and give her the patronage power you speak of?

    The answers to these questions will begin to reveal the sheer level of your ignorance.

    Another question,
    Why is that you would rather have the power to hire your Chief of Police held by one person, not even elected by the people, rather than have the this position be appointed by a board of seven people, all of whom were elected by the people?

    It seems pretty clear to me that what you seek is much more dangerous and allows for much more patronage hiring and favors.

  14. Paul,

    Please try and stick to the facts. It will make this easier on you.

    After Chief Howell was hired. The Board changed the ordinance. I am not sure of the date.

    The Village Manager posts the position publicly, interviews the candidates and then presents those candidates to the Board for approval.

    This hardly gives one person the authority.

    It is called checks and balances.

    You also said nothing about the potential for abuse.

    Shannon Andrew’s is currently Lakewood’s Interim Village Manager.

  15. Stating I am incorrect without actually stating why I am incorrect does nothing to dispute the facts provided.

    It is hard to argue with the facts.

  16. Jason McMahon = Loyal Puppet.

    How proud​ puppet Master, Erin Smith must be.

  17. Jason McMahon is worse than a puppet on a string.

    I thought he might have some brain cells and then I realized that he fancies himself as the savior of Lakewood.

    He is not out there so that Lakewood can be improved upon. He is only on the board to throw mud at the new board members.

    Carl Davis, who has been on the board for years, thinks clearly and says his well thought out ideas to help everyone in Lakewood.

    These new board members were just elected and they have much to do and learn.

    However, they ALL seem up to the task.

    I am looking forward to seeing what they will do.

  18. Why can’t you people have an intelligent discussion without insults and display of childish cartoons?

    I read Jason McMahon’s arguments and they have merit.

    There is no merit to insulting those who happen to disagree.

    Grow up!

    This is beneath the intelligence of your constituents.

  19. Cathy,

    Come to a meeting and see for yourself the behavior of the board and then make some educated comments.

    You are right all of this is below the behavior of Lakewood.

    However, this isn’t just a difference of an opinion, this is someone who has an agenda against all of us.

    The YOU PEOPLE line went out a long time ago.

  20. Serwatka – the guy who hates police officers nominating the Sheriff.

    That is rich.

    Was there an agreement not to stop him driving through Lakewood?

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