Wheaton police chief resigns, begins new role at police academy
After serving 35 years at the Wheaton Police Department, Chief Jim Volpe retired from active duty this summer. Volpe had been serving as chief for two years when he heard about a new opening at the College of DuPage’s Police Academy last October.
“I didn’t want to leave the Wheaton Police Department,” Volpe said, “but this opportunity wouldn’t come up again probably for another five, 10 years.” Volpe had been involved at the Police Academy for 20 years, but his new role as Suburban Law Enforcement Academy Director offered the chance to train new recruits as well as do administration work.
“I’ve got a good share of administration staff that coordinates all the scheduling [and] state required paperwork,” Volpe stated. “I basically coordinate everything that goes on here in that respect.” However, he still takes the time to teach cadets, from classes on search and seizure to leading physical training in the mornings.
When asked what he misses most about his old job, Volpe quickly answered, “The citizens and the officers of the Wheaton Police Department … the city always supported the police department so much that it’s a great place to work as a police officer.”
Even though Volpe said he misses his job at the police department, he enjoys his new role teaching officers in training. “If I can’t be a full-time police officer,” he said, “then I want to train police officers … it’s pretty rewarding.” He currently oversees nearly 250 new recruits a year.
With Volpe’s departure, Deputy William Murphy stepped into the role of chief on
July 2, reports the Daily Herald. In an email to the Record, Chief Murphy expressed admiration for former Chief Volpe. “He is a very intelligent and thoughtful person,” he said, “We had a very collaborative working relationship.” Murphy also praised Volpe for changes he made to the department, “enhanc[ing] our resources by joining several multi-agency task forces” and “spearhead[ing] a drive to improve officer training.” Regarding his own new position, Murphy stated, “I am excited and honored by the opportunity to lead such an outstanding police department … my hope is [to] continue bringing high-level service to the community.”