My Calling

Robert Kowalski

Robert Kowalski
Chief of Police
Edgerton (WI) Police Department/Retired FBI

I began my career of law enforcement after being in a Catholic Seminary for eight years and graduating college with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. This decision came with quite a bit of soul searching and a desire to make a positive impact on society. I began as a Police Officer in a western suburb of Chicago. This start molded my entire career and provided a strong base for over 40 years. While an officer, I was chosen to be a Juvenile and Field Training Officer for the PD. I was also elected Vice President of the FOP and had the experience of negotiating two separate contracts for the Officers.

Robert Kowalski

The beginning of my career

During this time, I went back to school and attained my Masters of Science degree in Criminal/Social Justice. I decided to expand my career in law enforcement and applied for a position as a Special Agent in the FBI. After a lengthy process, I was chosen to attend the FBI Academy as a New Agent and left the PD after nine and a half years of a successful career in Forest Park, IL.

During my Special Agent training for the FBI I was able to utilize my police experience to help succeed in the FBI Academy located in Quantico, VA. The FBI Academy was a challenge but it solidified my passion for law enforcement. I successfully graduated from the FBI Academy and was assigned to the Indianapolis Division at the Lafayette, Indiana Resident Agency. I was selected for this assignment because of my law enforcement background and was able to utilize it to the fullest extent. Initially I concentrated on violent crime cases but was quickly able to expand and work several of the FBI’s programs. I worked on high profile cases, such as, the Oklahoma City Bombing and a father/son bank robbery team profiled twice on Americas Most Wanted.

In 1997, I was transferred to the FBI’s Chicago Division and assigned to work Eastern European Organized Crime. I investigated several complex cases and successfully had those cases prosecuted.

In 2001, I was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent of an Intelligence Squad. Shortly after my promotion, September 11th occurred and our lives were changed forever. I was tasked to create a Terrorist Finance squad. We were able to identify charitable organizations who were funneling money to terrorist groups.

My last assignment prior to retiring I was selected the Strategic Partnership Coordinator for the Chicago area. This position enabled me to develop relationships with those manufacturers who make things that keep us safe and are attracted to other countries who want to steal that technology for their own benefit.

I retired from the FBI in 2010 and had to decide what to do after almost 30 years with two jobs, one as a Police Officer and the other as Special Agent in the FBI.

I decided to go into the private sector and became the Director of Security for a “for profit” higher education corporation. This opportunity taught me about different aspects of security. Although this was a great learning experience it opened my eyes as to where I wanted to go in my career. I decided to focus on becoming a Chief of Police and impart my knowledge on younger Officers of a Police Department.

With my decision of becoming a Chief I had to position myself to be selected for this opportunity. I left corporate America and became a Security Chief for Homeland Security at a government complex. This provided me with more experience but not what I ultimately wanted. In a short time, I was selected to be the Director of Safety/Security for the Cook County Health System. The Director was charged with leading two sworn Police Departments and allowed me to renew my Police Commission.

Although this was a challenging job, it was not what I wanted. I was then selected to be a Chief of Police for a south Chicago suburb. I finally became the Chief of a Police Department. During my tenure I was able to make a positive impact, however, when a new mayor was elected, I was released in the restricting.

I continued looking for a Chief position where I can serve the community. I applied for, and became the Chief of a small department in Wisconsin. I am finally in a position that makes me content after 40 years. I am truly Blessed to be where I want to be. This is where I will end my career in law enforcement…eventually.

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