Lombard Police veteran Roy Newton adapts to new, unusual hours
LOMBARD – Roy Newton is getting used to sitting behind a desk at work each day, he's getting used to working five days a week and having weekends off and he's getting used to sleeping at night rather than patrolling the streets of Lombard.
On July 29, Newton, a 27-year veteran began his new position as Deputy Chief of Administration for the Lombard Police Department and he's acclimating to the changes that all police personnel face when they make the shift from patrolling the streets to helping oversee the department.
"I've never worked Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.," he said. "My whole adult life has been shift work."
Newton, 47, has spent his entire career in law enforcement with the Lombard Police Department. He joined the force as a community service officer as a 20-yearold in 1986, but he was even active with the department in high school as a member of the Police Explorers, a program that provided relevant experience for local teens interested in law enforcement.
From a very young age, Newton said he wanted to be a police officer.
"I was the typical kid in grammar school," he said. "When others said, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' I always said a police officer."
No one in his family served in law enforcement, this was something he independently decided to pursue.
He spent several years working as a community service officer before he completed and passed Lombard's hiring test for sworn officers. He was sworn in in February 1995 with another young officer fresh from the police academy, Tom Wirsing. Today, Wirsing's office at the department is down the hall from Newton's and he's the other deputy police chief with the department. He's been in this position since 2011.
Aside from being colleagues who have followed very similar career paths over the years, Newton said he and Wirsing are good friends.
"I think it's really cool," he said. "It's just a good thing for the department."
During his time with the department, Newton has served in a variety of positions in addition to community service officer and police officer; he's been a field training officer, a defensive tactics instructor, a detective sergeant and lieutenant. He's proud to have served in so many areas, he said.
"There comes a point in your career, if you're in a supervisor position, you want to move up the chain and become a more significant leader in the organization," he said.
As Deputy Chief of Administrations, Newton is responsible for supervising the department's budget, paying bills, managing facilities and more.
Even though his new position is one that requires more time at the police station and less time patrolling the streets, law enforcement is still Newton's true calling.
"The job is so rewarding," he said. "(Knowing) that while you're driving around on the midnight shift, nothing happens because you're driving around on the midnight shift."