Get to Know RPD: Kovacs in seventh year with department

Last year, Kovacs started a breast cancer awareness fundraiser in memory of his mother, Tammy, who passed away from breast cancer in December 2015. RPD sold pink patches and clothing items to raise money to donate to the Living Well Cancer Resource Center in Geneva. The final donation was $10,000.

Officer’s breast cancer awareness fundraiser to honor late mother in its 2nd year

ROCHELLE — Rochelle Police Department Officer Ryan Kovacs is in his seventh year with the department and currently patrols on night shift.

Kovacs’ responsibilities in his positions include patrolling the community and responding to calls for service. He has additional responsibilities in the department, including being a field training officer responsible for training new officers. He’s also a less lethal instructor, taser instructor and firearms instructor for RPD. He’s a certified truck enforcement officer and serves as president of the Rochelle Police Pension Board.

Kovacs has received training in advanced driving under the influence enforcement, medical marijuana, the Illinois Vehicle Code and ARIDE (advanced roadside impairment and drug enforcement) along with crisis intervention training and truck enforcement. 

He attended Elgin High School in Elgin and graduated in 2004 before attending Northern Illinois University and graduating in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminology. Prior to working for RPD, Kovacs was a corrections officer for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and previously worked as a patrol officer for the Elgin Police Department.  

During his freshman year of college, Kovacs was set to become a computer science major. But, he ended up missing a meeting and had to find a new major.

“My best friend was becoming a police officer so he convinced me to look into it,” Kovacs said. “I took criminal justice-related classes and I really liked the material. I ended up doing an internship with the Hoffman Estates Police Department and fell in love with the job and everything that comes with it. To this day, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

Kovacs and his wife have been married for four years and the couple have four cats together. In their free time, they enjoy traveling. Ryan’s hobbies include fitness and woodworking. 

The RPD officer said every day on the job is a new experience, and that’s why he loves policing. 

“I’m not sitting behind a desk doing a 9-5-type job,” Kovacs said. “Instead I’m behind the wheel of a car driving around enjoying our community where every day is different. Some days we are very busy handling calls while other days we have less call volume so I’m able to go out and do proactive police work like traffic stops. No two days are ever alike and I love that.”

Kovacs wants the community to know that there is “a great group” of officers working at RPD.

“I enjoy working with every officer and we all genuinely care and want to make our community better,” Kovacs said. “Every officer here gives their best day in and day out.”

Last year, Kovacs started a breast cancer awareness fundraiser in memory of his mother, Tammy, who passed away from breast cancer in December 2015. RPD sold pink patches and clothing items to raise money to donate to the Living Well Cancer Resource Center in Geneva. The final donation was $10,000.

The fundraiser will again take place this year in October. T-shirts ranging from adult small to XXL are available for $25 and additional apparel items are available through 926 Custom Embroidery. Patches cost $10. Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 and prizes include a handmade wooden pink line flag, a handmade wooden blue line flag and a t-shirt and patch. 500 raffle tickets are available and the winners will be drawn Nov. 1. 

To purchase items from the Rochelle PD Pink Project fundraiser, visit or call the police department at 416 N. 6th St., 815-562-2131, cash/check only (payable to Rochelle PD Pink Project) or 926 Custom Embroidery at 404 Lincoln Highway, 815-561-9500, cash/credit card.

“It was really memorable and heartwarming to see all the members of the police department rally behind a cause and see the huge amount of support we received from the community to help make the fundraiser so successful,” Kovacs said. “I am really excited to see if we can beat last year’s number this year.”

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