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List of River Forest Police Chiefs

Chief Carl W. Soderlin

Chief of Police:


1910-……James Kunst, d. 1921 or 1922, 906 Jackson, policeman 1905-1910; was appointed the first Chief in 1910 (1)(obit for his wife says he was chief for 18 years)(2-11/7/30)(must be an error-could he have “served” for 18                                     years-1905-1922???)

1910-…..Thomas. P. Kearin (could this be Curran and/or Gearing?), (career listed : March 10, 1910-Ptlm on West Park, Oak Park, Force; July 1910-Chief of  River Forest; April 27, 1914 Ptlm. Oak Park PD; Feb. 1918 Det Sgt OPPD; June 1926-LT, OPPD; April 1930-Captain OPPD)(2-3/14/40

1912-  ….T. P. Gearing,(could this be Kearin and/or Curran?) appointed Chief 1912(?) “served several years” (1)

1912-........Arthur Schoff, was appointed Chief - May, 1912

………….Harry Auspice, Chief “short term” (late teens) (1)(appointed 1916)(9)

………….Roy Goss, Chief “short term” (late teens) (1)(appointed 1918)(9)

………… Tom Curran (Could this be Gearing and/or Kearin?) Chief “Short term” (late teens) (1)

1919-1924 Frank W. Laatz, 923 Thatcher, constable; Police Chief: 1919-1924; police magistrate 1924-? (1)

1925-1928 Charles  M. Atkinson, DOB: 5/1/1864 RES: 410 Franklin (retired captain of CPD) appointed Chief 1925 RSG:1928 (because of poor health)(justice of the peace 1928-31)DOD: 12/13/31(1)(2)(M)

1928-1954 Carl William Soderlin, DOB: 6/6/01 EOD: 8/5/20 (started as motorcycle officer-dept consisted of  2 m/c officers and the chief and at that time uniform was only worn for dress occasion) RES: 132 Lathrop & 348 Franklin SGT: 1925 CHF: 1928 PHT ’29, 30 & ’45 RET: 9/1/54 DOD: 8/22/89 (“Chief, Captain & Superintendent”)[Founding President FOP, Pres of Illinois Chiefs, mem of International Chiefs & in charge of Medina (Shriner) Police Unit](2)  also township constable (1) (M)

1954-1963 Bernard Fred Gerard Jr., DOB: 4/20/06 EOD: 4/1/29 RES: moved to RF in 1918 from Maywood SGT: 1/17/46 LT: 4/1/47 Chief: 9/1/54 RET: 12/31/63 (Chief of Twin Lakes, Wisc.)(Dep Coroner Kenosha Co. Wisc.)DOD: 9/12/85(picked up Jake (the Barber) Factor in 1933(?) sensational kidnapping case/ SA Police Dan Gilbert accused him of collusion (2)(4)(5)(M)

1964-1974  Franklin William Ahrens DOB: 9/17/23 (US Army 1942-46, Purple Heart) EOD 9/15/49 (1817 S. Harlem, Berwyn) SGT: 9/1/56 LT: 7/1/61 (or 6/1/62) Chief : 1/1/64 RET: 9/15/74 (to Venice FL) DOD: 4/26/98

1974-1978 Albert Jack Berry, DOB: 11/22/24 EOD: 8/1/51 RES: Bellwood SGT: 10/1/68 LT: 7/75 (after he was chief) Chief: 8/74 RET: 1/31/78 (Winnetka) DOD: 3/25/05

1978-1987  Nicholas Martin Coscino, DOB: 11/30/34 EOD: 1/9/67 RES: Elmwood Pk SGT:8/15/74 LT: 7/16/77 Chief: 2/18/78 DSB: 9/1/87 Converted to RET: 9/1/87 (Sheriff’s Posse, Maricopa County, AZ)(M) DOD: 6/25/09

1986-1987  Richard Marvin Samuel, DOB: 11/19/30 EOD: 6/1/57 SGT: 12/1/68 LT: 3/1/71 Dep CHF: 9/74-2/78 Acting CHF: 11/77-2/78 & 2/86-9/86 Temp CHF: 9/86-12/86 CHF: 12/8/86-7/20/87 RET: 9/27/87 (brother was Maywood PD Chief)

1987-1998 Joseph I. Bopp, (former Mt. Prospect PD Deputy Chief); EOD(appointed Chief): 7/29/87 RES: Mt. Prospect RSG: 5/15/98 (So. Carolina)DOD: 1/2004 (Original choice: Carl Johnson of Conn. Who was offered $5K more but declined)

1998-200? Michael A. Holub appointed Chief 10/98

(resigned to become LaGrange, IL Chief)

4 AUGUST 2003 Nicholas Weiss appointed Chief

1 October 2008 Frank Limon appointed Chief

(resigned 31 Mar 2010 to become New Haven, CT Chief)




NOTE: William Frieberg, DOD: 12/26/25  (erroneously reported: Appointed Chief                            1924-25) (1)

                        Spelled as “Freiberg” and has sergeant star in roll-of-honor case (2- 5/9/30): He was probably a desk sergeant






(1) History of River Forest, Hall, 1938, (Pub 1937)

(2) Oak Leaves Newspaper Clipping

(3) Letter to RF Village and Pension board from Ingle (7-24-57)

(4) Dept Files

(5) Chicago Crime Book by Halper (1967)

(6) Pension Board Minutes/notes

(7) Chicago Tribune

(8) police department lore

(9) RFPD History by Rutz (1990)


Motorcycle Officer Charles Lahey
Retired Chief Soderlin visits Chief Nicholas M. Coscino

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