UPDATE: Geneva Police Chief Steve Mexin to Retire; Cmdr. Eric Passarelli Promoted
- Editor’s Note: This article was updated on March 8 to include additional information about Eric Passarelli.
Geneva Police Chief Steve Mexin will be retiring effective May 6 after leading Geneva’s Police Department for the past eight years.
Mexin decided to retire to spend more time with his family, pursue volunteer opportunities and explore other personal interests after working more than 26 years for the city of Geneva Police Department.
“I truly feel it has been a privilege to be a member of the Geneva Police Department all these years, and it has been my honor to serve as chief of police on a department made up of such fine people,” Mexin said.
Mexin will publicly announce his retirement at the Monday, March 7, 2016, City Council meeting, when Mayor Kevin Burns will appoint Cmdr. Eric Passarelli as the city’s next police chief. On the same night, Geneva City Adminitrator Mary McKittrick will announce her retirement, and the City Council also will consider the appointment of Assistant City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins as the next city administrator.
“Chief Mexin’s humble leadership has contributed immeasurably to Geneva’s reputation as a premier city in which to live, learn, work and play,” Mayor Kevin Burns said. “A public servant in the truest sense, Steve’s integrity, compassion and vision has helped ensure that Geneva remains a safe and secure community for people of every age.”
After being hired in 1989 as a Geneva patrol officer, Mexin worked as a field training officer, field training co-coordinator, intern program coordinator and was a member of the department’s tactical response unit. He was promoted to patrol sergeant in 1997, commander of police services in 2002 and appointed police chief in 2008.
The Geneva Police Department has seen a great deal of change during Chief Mexin’s administration, including leading the department into the digital age. Paper police records dating back to the 1950s were scanned for easier access, which provided more storage space. Mobile data computers were upgraded in the squad cars, and the department transitioned its booking process to be done electronically.
Chief Mexin has had to navigate fiscal challenges associated with 2008 recession and uneven economy in the years that followed.
“From day one, that has been a huge challenge to maintain the current level of services our community has come to expect with budget cuts each year,” he said. “Considering the financial obstacles that we have had to endure, Geneva has maintained an excellent level of safety.”
Since Mexin took leadership of the department in 2008, major crime in Geneva is down 41 percent and theft has decreased 36 percent, according to the city’s 2015 crime statistics.
Besides supervising the Police Department’s 49 employees, Chief Mexin said building relationships within the force and the community has been one of his top priorities.
Mexin has served as a member on Tri-Com Central Dispatch’s Board of Directors since 2008. His other membership affiliations include the Kane County Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Northern Illinois Chapter of the FBI National Academy Association. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2005.
Passarelli Appointed Geneva Police Chief
The Geneva City Council tonight has approved the appointment of Police Commander Eric Passarelli as the City’s next Police Chief starting this spring.
The 22-year veteran of the Geneva Police Department will be replacing Police Chief Steve Mexin, who announced his retirement effective May 6. Passarelli will be working under the leadership of Stephanie Dawkins, who will become the next City Administrator, effective June 13, upon the retirement of current City Administrator Mary McKittrick.
“I am very excited and extremely humbled by this opportunity,” Commander Passarelli said. “I greatly appreciate the support I have received from Mayor Kevin Burns, the Geneva City Council and City staff. I very much look forward to partnering with them to provide our residents and visitors with outstanding service. I consider it a privilege and am honored to work side-by-side with staff the caliber of those at the Geneva Police Department.
“They are professional and compassionate, and their dedication to the citizens of our community is unrivaled. I look forward to building upon the solid foundation established under Chief Mexin’s leadership. I will look to expand upon already positive partnerships within the city and will work tirelessly to assure Geneva remains the safe community we all care about so deeply.”
As Commander of Police Services since 2008, Passarelli established the Police Department prescription drug disposal program and initiated the implementation of the department’s electronic crash reporting technology. His current duties involve coordinating police services for special events, oversight responsibilities for the police records division, parking enforcement, background investigations of new City employees, liquor license renewals, fleet maintenance, speed trailer requests, traffic speed studies and serving as a secondary public information officer.
“Commander Passarelli has earned the respect and trust of his teammates in the Police Department and the confidence of the community,” said Mayor Burns, who brought the appointment forward for City Council consideration. “I have no doubt he will carry on the legacy of his predecessors to ensure Geneva’s finest remain the most respected police force around.”
Passarelli joined the Geneva Police Department in 1994 and spent the next nine years in the patrol division as a field training officer, evidence technician and accident investigator. In 2005, he was promoted to Patrol Sergeant where he held the roles of field-training co-coordinator and Taser instructor.
Prior to arriving in Geneva, Passarelli started his law enforcement career in 1992 on patrol duty for the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office. He also spent 14 years as a volunteer firefighter/emergency medical technician for the Bristol-Kendall Fire Protection District.
Passarelli is a graduate of Aurora University’s Management Center, Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command. He has been a member of the Illinois Chief’s of Police Association since 2008 and has served on the executive board of the Kane County Chief’s Association since 2014, currently holding the office of president.
SOURCE: city of Geneva news release
About the City of Geneva, IL
Located 40 miles west of Chicago along the Fox River, Geneva is home to 21,495 residents and serves as the seat of Kane County government. Geneva’s character is found in its historic architecture, adaptive re-use of historic buildings, mature landscapes and open space with more than 700 acres of park land. With festivals and events year-round, Geneva is a place to connect with others for shopping, dining or browsing art galleries. Home to excellent schools, library and parks, Geneva continues to be one of the premier cities in the Chicago area to live, work, play and raise a family. For the latest news, visit the city’s website at www.geneva.il.us.