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Hero Down: Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth Dies While Recovering From Medical Procedure

Elmhurst, IL – Elmhurst Police Department (EPD) Chief Michael Ruth died on May 30 while recovering from a medical procedure, according to his department.

The 63-year-old police chief was surrounded by his family members at a local hospital when he passed away.

He devoted 44 years of his life to his law enforcement career, according to his obituary.

“I am forever grateful to have worked alongside him,” Elmhurst City Manager Jim Grabowski said in a statement posted to the EPD’s Facebook page on Monday. “He was an asset to our organization and his loss will not be easy to overcome.”

Chief Ruth served as a police dispatcher in Alsip and as a Hometown Police Department patrolman before he joined the Skokie Police Department (SPD) in 1981, according to his obituary.

He rose to the rank of commander during his nearly 30 years of service with the SPD before he took over as chief of the Countryside Police Department in 2010.

Chief Ruth became chief of the EPD two years later, and spent the next decade “building community support and implementing new crime prevention technologies” for the city of Elmhurst, according to his obituary.

In addition to his work as police chief, Chief Ruth also taught criminal justice courses at Governors State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He previously served as president of the West Suburban Chiefs of Police Association, and graduated from the 207th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.

“Above all, Chief Ruth believed in the nobility of the Elmhurst Police Department’s work and the professionalism of its members,” Elmhurst Mayor Scott Levin said in the press release. “Our City has suffered a tremendous loss, however I am comforted in knowing that Chief was a mentor to many, and that his commitment to the highest level of public safety standards for our community will live on.”

Chief Ruth leaves behind his wife, Susan, and his daughter, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his siblings, nephews, nieces, and many friends and extended family members.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Elmhurst Police Department Chief Michael Ruth, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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