The Proviso Herald's Catherine Gran reports that many are mourning the death of Bellwood Dep. Police Chief Randolph Leslie.
The 46-year-old Elmhurst resident, formerly of Bellwood, died Jan. 11 from multiple myeloma, a plasma cell cancer.
Dozens of police vehicles from surrounding communities led a funeral procession Jan. 16 for Bellwood Dep. Chief Randolph Leslie, 46, a 24-year veteran of the department.
"I knew him as a kid," said Bellwood Village President Frank Pasquale. "He and my son played together at the Boys Club."
"He was more than a mentor, said Dep. Chief Rich Blass. "He was a friend."
Leslie was a 24-year veteran of the Bellwood Police Department. After graduating from Proviso West High School in Hillside, he went on to receive a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in safety administration from Lewis University at Romeoville.
A member of the Bellwood-based Boys and Girls Club of West Cook County in his youth, Leslie continued his affiliation with the organization, serving as a board member and as president of the board.
"He wanted to stay with the organization and give back to the community he grew up in," Blass said.
Leslie's commitment to Bellwood continued through his work with the police department. After starting as a part-time officer, he soon became a full-time patrol officer.
"He was promoted to detective, and that was the job he liked best," Blass said. "He had the rare distinction of solving every homicide he was assigned.
"As a division commander, I reported to him," Blass said. "I have to say, I got much more out of that deal than he did. He showed me all the operations.
"He also received numerous awards of distinction, and a lot of those awards were ones where his peers selected him. It was great to work with him, and for him."
"Eight years ago when I came in as mayor, he was a patrol officer," Pasquale said. "He kept moving up the ranks.
"And his word was his bond. If he said something, you could take it to bank.
"He had a great rapport with his men," Pasquale continued. "When he was nominated as deputy chief, nobody had any doubts about his capability, loyalty and leadership.
"He was one of a kind, a great worker. He followed up. If I gave him something to do, I knew I didn't have ask if it got done.
"He was rare commodity," Pasquale added. "First and foremost, he was a family man. We all wear many hats. He was proudest of being a family man."
"When he wasn't not in office taking care of us, he was at home taking care of his family," Blass said. "He stayed in the office for as long as it took to get the job done, but he was always raring to get back to his family."
Blass called Leslie a "policeman's policeman."
"I continued to consult his expertise, even when he was out sick," Blass said. "We'd conference at his home, or I would call him to ask his advice. Now I just hope he still hears me."
Survivors include his wife, Christine; children Andrew, Randy, Nicky and Isabella; mother, Nancy; brothers Bradley and Todd; grandparents Edward Leslie and Mary Groh; one uncle and eight nieces and nephews.
Services were held Jan. 16. Arrangements were made by Hursen's Funeral Home in Hillside.
Memorials may be made to the Leslie Children's Education Fund c/o Community Bank of Elmhurst, 330 W. Butterfield Road in Elmhurst, 60126.