FRG Police Chief Robert Polston Retiring

I couldn’t get through Emily Krone’s Daily Herald story about Fox River Grove Police Chief Robert Polston’s retirement with tearing up.

Polston was one, maybe “the one,” who had complained about the Chicago & Northwestern Metra commuter trains tearing through his town at spends of 70 miles per hour.

And he was standing on the street when the train crashed into the back of the bus carrying students to Cary-Grove High School.

Krone quotes this from a village press release:

A fixture at every village function since being hired and a steadying presence during trying circumstances, he is readily recognized by residents — many of whom can recount stories of how he helped them out or handled a difficult situation with tact.

Polston came down to Springfield the day my bill to limit the speed to 50 MPH was to be voted upon.

He helped lobby the legislators, as did Village President Bill Yocius and some of the parents of high school students who were killed. There were others, including probably Village Trustee Mary Murren.

Polston connected with one of his old Chicago neighborhood acquaintances, then a member of the Democratic side of the aisle. He was a man with whom I did not have a particularly good rapport.

I was told that then-Speaker Lee Daniels had received a call from his law firm boss, Jeff Lake was Metra Chairman at the time. Ladd requested that Lee kill the bill and Lee did his best, sending out the word that the speed limit bill was a big “No-no.” (I’m sure those weren’t his words.)

With the railroad lobbyists also working against the bill and the House Speaker opposing it, it was a tough sell. I heard that there had never been a speed limit statutorily imposed in the nation’s history.

It certainly would not have passed without the help of people like Polston.

He certainly should go on the list of nominees for “Ideal Public Servant.”

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