Make your own free website on
Retired River Forest Illinois Police Officers

Vintage Photos

Vintage Photos
Group Photos
Roll Call
River Forest Police Stories
Members Page-Bulletin Board
Fighting Crime with Radio
Chronology of Police Radio
Village of River Forest History
RFPD Pension Board
Contact Us



Front Row: Leslie Watson, others unknown

Rear: 2x unk, Bernard Gerard, Joseph Welch, Chief Soderlin, Charles Broehl, Orlow Stensby(?), 2x unk. Photo date
believed to be between 1939 and 1945


Motorcycle officer Bernard Gerard


Motorcycle Officer Charles Lahey, Retired Chief Carl Soderlin and Chief Nicholas Coscino. During a visit to the RFPD in 1981, Retired Chief Carl Soderlin is shown a Honda CB650 police motorcycle. Chief Soderlin sold motorcycles in 1920 to police departments. He was offered a job on the RFPD that year and on August 5th he became

a m/c officer on its three-man department.



Sergeant Les Watson in 1946 with Squad 111.

Les was a founding secretary of FOP Lodge #102 in 1929, and was president of the PD Benevolent Association. Les retired as a Lieutenant on June 30, 1952 and passed away in 1979.


Officer Ralph Marsh #154 target shooting at indoor shooting range 1947. The shooting range was built by RFPD Officers and was located above the Public Works Department on the 400 Block of Jackson-later RF Community Ctr and later approx. rear area of Jewel Food Store. Ralph retired as a Lieutenant in1968 and he and his wife died as a result of injuries due to a car accident in 1989.


Motorcycle Officer Arthur Willing. Art entered the Police Department on June 1, 1946 after serving as a RF Fireman for a short time. He retired as a Sergeant on September 30, 1968. Art’s mother served as a police matron on the RFPD.


Radio equipped...note the antenna on the closest squad.

November 1920 article


A snapshot taken in the late 1920’s of two motorcycle officers on Central Ave. Officer Powers (with dog) and Officer Herbert Reilly. Officer Reilly is promoted to Sergeant and shortly after is dismissed from duty along with four other officers on March 10th, 1929. 


Officer Matthew “Edwin” Petersen posing with broom outside front door of police station next to squad 111. Ed Petersen was a founding Officer of the original RF FOP Lodge in 1929. He was assigned the desk often in later years. He retired as sergeant in 1956 and passed away only eight months later at 50 years of age. Photo taken about 1946.


Officer Robert Loftus, January 23, 1963. Officer Loftus resigned on September 15, 1963 but then was re-instated on April 15, 1964. He later received a disability retirement on January 15, 1967. In 1968 he shot himself in the stomach “while cleaning my gun”. Retired Officer Loftus passed away in 1990.


Portrait of Officer Charles William Broehl Sr. His son, Charles Jr. who is four years old when this photograph is taken,  later becomes a Lieutenant on the Forest Park PD. Officer Broehl retired in 1949 and passed away in 1980.


Memorial Day Parade, May 30th, 1960. Officers with Police float. From left to right: Officer Arthur Willing, Officer Fred Pienkos and Chief Bernard Gerard. Officer Pienkos retired in 1972 and passed away in 2008.



In 1932, during prohibition, an iIllegal 250 gallon still in a River Forest residence on Jackson Ave., is investigated by Officers Charles Broehl #132 and Walter Gray #139. Walter was the victim of a car bombing in 1940 (photos pending)


Lieutenant Ray Rheingruber seated at Chief’s desk about 1946.

Ray was the very first Lieutenant on the department, July 1, 1929. He entered the department in 1925 but held the position of RF Village Constable until 1931. In 1929 he was the founding VP of the RF FOP Lodge. He retired in 1947 with a pension of $165 from a salary of $317 per month. Ret. Lt Rheingruber died in 1961


Newspaper story September 5th, 1940. Lt. Rheingruber tells Chief Soderlin how he captured a 19 yr old car thief by placing a slug into the stolen car.



Motorcycle Officer Raymond Bauer #141. Ray entered the RFPD on June 1, 1948 and retired on January 31, 1969. Ray retired to Arizona where he lives today.


Motorcycle Officer Bernard Gerard. In his backyard on Washington Blvd.


Officer Robert Fredenberg and Officer Frank Schoff in motorcycle uniforms with Sam Browne Belts, taken 1947. Officer Fredenberg left the department on September 8, 1947 after serving less than 15 months.


Detective George Strauch alongside 1968 Dodge Squad #108. Lt Frank Schoff in squad.

George entered on the department on October 1, 1954. He retired as a Sergeant on November 15, 1977. He returned as desk operator #195 on December 16, 1981 and passed away on June 10, 1992. George served in WWII in the US Army in Co. 1, 157th Infantry, 45th Div., and became a POW in Germany after being shot in the leg. George said that the German doctors operated on him and saved him because they noticed his German name.


Motorcycle Officer Richard Martin #162. Dick entered the PD on June 1, 1946 and on February 10, 1951 he left the department (at $296 per month) “for private industry because of shorter hours, higher pay and daytime work”.


Motorcycle Officer Carl Bangert.


Public Walk-up to the Police Desk as it appeared until a new building was contructed in 1969


Officer Charles Broehl and Officer Frank Sasgen, probably 1940s in Chief’s office. Officer Sasgen started with River Forest as a civilian desk operator in the early 1940s and his official entry date onto the police department was unclear because he had some problems with passing the medical entry exams and was re-assigned to the desk for a while. The pension board ultimately deemed he was eligible for a pension after January 10, 1967


Polaroid snapshot between 1958 and 1963 of Sergeant Ralph Marsh, Lieutenant Frank Bramhall and Officer John Kessler. Lt Bramhall served on the PD for 40 years. He was a founding trustee of the RF FOP lodge. He retired in 1965 and passed away in 1993. Lt John Kessler retired in 1977 after serving for 25 years. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday


Officer Charles Broehl receives class certificate from FBI agent George McSwain   (agent-in-charge of Chicago Office) as Chief Soderlin looks on. To the far right is FBI Agent Harry Schwartz. February 6th 1947


Officers Orlow Stensby and Joseph Welsh pose next to squad on a winter day in the 1940’s


Seated left to right: Officer Dick Martin, Officer Chas Broehl. Standing: Sgt. Les Watson and possibly Officer Oliver Schultz. Probably late 1940’s


This is possibly Officer Oliver Schultz, late 1940s. Olle was a founding member of the RF FOP Lodge in 1929. He retired in 1949, was earning $3303 a year and received a pension of $136 a month. Officer Schultz passed away on November 4, 1971.


“Police Nab Pair After Bullet Punctuated Chase”-reads the headline on August 28, 1942.

Arrested (with warning shots) were two subjects who were discovered committing an auto theft and had admitted other thefts, burglaries and armed robberies. Pictured on the ramp, in front of the PD, that night are from left to right: Lieutenant Joseph Welch, arrestee, Officer Gordon Koesche and Officer Albert “Jack” Berry.


Officers Richard A. Rehmer and Arthur J. Willing at the rear of the PD in 1953. Richard Rehmer #166 entered the RFPD on April 15th 1949 and received a disability pension due to heart conditions on April 1st 1963

Chicago Daily News Photo
Less Watson 1929