ST. CHARLES – St. Charles Police Chief Jim Lamkin doesn’t much care for the limelight.
But on Friday afternoon, such community leaders as Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet and Lazarus House Executive Director Liz Eakins put him in the spotlight during a farewell reception in the City Council Chambers.
Lamkin is ending his 10-year career with St. Charles on Dec. 27 to lead the Schaumburg Police Department.
Speakers recognized Lamkin for his leadership, professionalism, honesty and, among other qualities, his dedication and passion for the Cop on Top fundraiser for Special Olympics. Former St. Charles City Administrator Brian Townsend – now Schaumburg village manager – said many have accused him of stealing Lamkin from the city. Such characterization is unfair to Lamkin, he said.
“He had to convince a lot of people he was right for the job,” said Townsend, who welcomed – and encouraged – boos from the crowd as he came forward to speak.
Deputy Chief of Administration Steve Huffman, who will serve as interim police chief, said he didn’t have the time to list everything Lamkin did for the department. His achievements include the department’s new full-service firing range, the community restitution program and, Huffman said, positive relationships with community organizations and the media.
Personally, Huffman said, he learned more from Lamkin than from anyone else. He presented Lamkin with the department’s award of merit and described him as “one of the best leaders to ever come through our doors.”
Lamkin credited his staff for their contributions, noting he couldn’t have done any of it without them.
“To me, it’s all about the work that we do,” he said.
Mayor Ray Rogina kept his comments short.
“Your sage advice will always be rooted here in St. Charles,” he said.