NORTH RIVERSIDE – Representatives of the West Suburban Chiefs of Police Association expressed their condolences Tuesday after learning of the death of Tony Garvey, former police chief in North Riverside, of an apparent suicide.
"It is with profound sadness that we report the passing of Anthony (Tony) Garvey, president-elect of the West Suburban Chiefs of Police Association," the group said in a statement. "We have lost a dear friend and valued colleague. Tony took his own life this morning, and our grief and confusion at this time are little compared to what his family must be feeling. Our hearts and prayers go out to them."
Brookfield Police Chief Steven Stelter, president of the WSCPA, echoed the group's sentiments about Garvey's death. He said it was a tragedy for Garvey's family as well as all those who knew and worked with him.
"This is a tragic event. ... We are saddened at this loss," Stelter said. "He was a friend and a colleague. He was a hard worker. He worked very hard every day for the village of North Riverside. ... They were very fortunate to have him."
Garvey, a Brookfield resident, was replaced as police chief in North Riverside following the April 9 consolidated election. He was succeeded by Lane Niemann, who served as Garvey's deputy chief since 2009. Garvey was named a commander for the Police Department after Niemann took over as chief.
"It is with the deepest sadness and heartfelt sorrow that we mourn the loss of Anthony (Tony) Garvey of the North Riverside Police Department today. Tony was an employee of the village of North Riverside for 24 yaers who served in many capacities within our Police Department," according to statement issued by North Riverside Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. "Tony will be sincerely missed by not only the employees of this village but the residents of North Riverside as well. Not only is North Riverside losing a vauable member of the community but I am personally mourning the loss of a longtime friend of over 30 years. My deepest sympathy and prayers are extended to his family at this difficult time."
Riverside Police Chief Tom said that he and Garvey worked for the Brookfield Zoo Police Department in the early 1980s. They served together on the WSCPA's executive committee, and Garvey was very active with the association, Weitzel said.
"Tony was a wonderful law enforcement professional and a wonderful husband and father," said Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel, who previously served as president of the WSCPA. "I was very saddened to hear of the news this morning. Tony was an individual who cared deeply about the village of North Riverside."