Orland Park Top Cop – The Former Agent Who Took A Bullet For Reagan – Is Retiring

Tim McCarthy
Photo credit Timothy McCarthy (Orland Park)
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The police chief of Orland Park, who once served in the Secret Service and was shot protecting President Ronald Reagan, announced his retirement after 26 years of working in the south suburbs.

Orland Park Police Chief Timothy McCarthy, 71, will retire Aug. 1 to allow time to find a replacement, the village said Wednesday in a news release. 

As a member of the Secret Service, McCarthy was among three people shot in 1981 during an assassination attempt of Reagan. He received the NCAA Award of Valor in recognition of the bravery he exhibited he exhibited in saving former President Ronald Reagan.

McCarthy retired from the Secret Service in October 1993 as the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office.

In 2016, McCarthy was the first person awarded the Chief of Police of the Year Award from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

According to Orland Park Police, the Chief's efforts have focused on transforming the department "into a 21st century model with an emphasis on transparency and robust community engagement efforts." Under the Chief’s leadership, the department has engaged in a more collaborative approach to village-wide initiatives such as addressing mental illness through the implementation of the department’s nationally recognized Crisis Intervention Team focusing on response to mental health related incidents.

In 2017, the department was the first agency internationally to complete the International Association of Chiefs of Police's One Mind Campaign Pledge to enhance the interaction between law enforcement and those affected by mental illness.

Chief McCarthy’s efforts also include lobbying on law enforcement issues, school safety and security, automating the Orland Park Police Department, the implementation of a numerous community policing initiatives and the use of NARCAN to help save those overdosing on heroin.

“Chief McCarthy, a long-time Village resident, has faithfully and diligently served the Village as its Chief of Police,” said Mayor Keith Pekau. "He has provided steadfast and dependable leadership to the men and women of the Orland Park Police Department throughout this entire period. I have appreciated and benefitted from his wise counsel since I’ve joined the Village as Mayor and remain thankful to have served the community alongside the Chief who has always been a consummate professional."

In May, 1994, Chief McCarthy was appointed as Chief of Police of the Orland Park Police Department. Prior to that, Chief McCarthy worked for the U.S. Secret Service. His career included eight years assigned to the Presidential Protective Division in Washington D.C. and 14 years as a criminal investigator in Chicago.  

Chief McCarthy graduated from Leo Catholic High School in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood of Chicago, has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Master of Science in Criminal/Social Justice from Lewis University.

“While he will be sorely missed by everyone, I know he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife of 47 years, three children, and seven grandchildren while seeking new opportunities to continue to serve his community and his country,” Pekau said.

Upon Chief McCarthy’s retirement, Deputy Police Chief Joseph Mitchell will be appointed Interim Chief of Police.