Acceptance Speech - Prepared Remarks
Chief Eric Guenther
Chief of the Year

Annual Awards Banquet - April 27, 2018
Peoria, Illinois

I am truly honored to be receiving this award. When Ed [Wojcicki] called me I was completely taken back in fact had absolutely zero idea that I was even nominated. The fact that my own staff nominated me for this award really makes it personally special, especially when I look across this room and think about all the good work that is being done by so many people. I wonder what makes me so deserving.

I am really thankful to be a part of such progressive and innovative thinkers that have continued to advocate for the law enforcement profession. Times are tough right now, but we’re COPs and we’re tougher. Nobody is stronger than we are, standing together, one voice, one vision. We are obligated to serve. We are obligated to support good work. That is why I am so proud to be in this room with all of you. Because I know you are all engaged in important work. You are all supporting work that will determine the safety of your communities and the future of our profession.

Whatever our accomplishments, no matter how grand or modest, they are not ours alone. I have been so very lucky to have had people in my life that have both inspired me and influenced me along the way.

I have had wonderful mentors and teachers. As a young boy my grandfather (a retired lieutenant for the State Police) instilled in me the love for this profession.

I had the pleasure of working under Raymond Rose and garnering 40 plus years of experience and advice (most of which was good).

I enjoy a very supportive village administrator, mayor and board, who have placed a great deal of trust and latitude in me over the last 5 years.

I have a wonderfully supportive family, my mother… and stepfather... … who despite my poor choices as a young man never stopped believing in me. My brother Bill, who also decided on a career in law enforcement, has helped me stay grounded.

And of course my three beautiful daughters, Peyton, Taylor and Emma, who are my everything.

Lastly my wife Melanie, who is an absolute Wonder Woman of a wife, mother, and friend. She manages to care for our three children, get them to practices and school activities, works a full time job and has a successful career of her own. Yet still has time to support my endeavors.

So whatever has put me here tonight is the product of many people who have gone out of their way to help. I very much thank the Illinois Chiefs Association for this recognition, and I look forward to continuing the good work with all of you.