Service above self

Jeff Fiegenschuh

Rotary International’s two official mottos are Service Above Self and One Profits Most Who Serves Best. There are many people in my life that I think of when I ponder these mottos. Two individuals who exemplify these statements in their professional work and in their volunteer efforts are recently-retired Rochelle Chief of Police Eric Higby and recently-retired Deputy Chief Terry Inman.

Law enforcement is an admirable career and I wish more people would choose to serve their communities and our society by taking it up. I cannot think of too many other professions where you make such a major difference in the lives of those you serve. Both gentlemen have 27 and 22 years respectively. This is a distinction I applaud.

One of the most important aspects of our jobs at the city Is building leadership capacity within the organization. Both individuals have done that. In the past six years, we’ve promoted several officers to new positions. These are people who will lead the department and organization into the future. As for the future, both have overseen the hiring of several new officers. In fact, we have four new candidates preparing for the academy as I write this. These new team members will bring fresh ideas and talents to the department and the organization. Through these critical hires, both individuals are leaving a legacy of leadership for a generation. 

Outside of “work”, both Eric and Terry served through the promotion of their profession and giving back to the community by volunteering. Eric completed two elite law enforcement training programs and served as a volunteer for Rotary and on the board of the directors for HOPE of Ogle County and Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center.

Terry has been a regional leader in disaster response preparations. He served on several special task forces and has worked with numerous local organizations to implement emergency response plans and to enhance the levels of preparedness for possible local incidents. He was an organizer of and advocate for multiple full-scale, multi-agency disaster exercises. If that was not enough, Terry served on the ILEAS Mobile Force, the Illinois Child Death Review Committee and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

These two individuals have given and continue to give so much to their profession, our community and our region. I will miss our daily conversations about everything and sometimes nothing at all. Gentlemen, wherever your next adventure takes you, I know you will continue be driven by purpose, attracted to positivity and committed to excellence. Blessings to you and your families.

“Occupy your thoughts with purpose and you will be so busy pursuing a meaningful future there will be no time for doubt, chaos and disappointment.”-Carlos Wallace

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”-Hellen Keller

Jeffrey A. Fiegenschuh, MPA, ICMA-CM, is the city manager of the City of Rochelle.