Monroe looks back on 40 years working for village
Craig Monroe\Courtesy Village of Northbrook
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:07AM
Craig Monroe, the longest serving village employee to work in Northbrook, is retiring after almost 40 years on the job.
During that time he handled an extensive variety of responsibilities for both the fire and police departments.
“I really liked the camaraderie of the people I worked with and the fact that I worked with a lot of good people. I worked under one fire chief, five police chiefs and three villages managers. And they were all good people. Not everyone has working conditions like that,” Monroe said.
Monroe he was 23 when in August of 1972 he became a member of the Northbrook Fire Department working under Fire Marshal Auggie Bennett.
As the communications and data processing supervisor, Monroe was responsible for all fire department communications equipment and computer activities, as well as being the fire department’s representative on the village’s Safety Commission for several years.
Monroe also represented the fire chiefs in 1976 and 1977 at the State Police Academy in Springfield where he served on four committees and gave instruction in public safety answering point related courses — a duty he remembers with pride.
He worked with the state’s 911 program, implementing a training curriculum and fire operations manual used as a training guide for supervisors and dispatchers.
He also joined the Northbrook Volunteer Fire Department in October of 1972, and served as the last president of the volunteers from 1978 to 1980, when they disbanded to become paid-on-call firefighters.
“Craig did an awful lot of very good work for the fire department, leading us into the improving technological record keeping field pre-computers. He was one of the most progressive people we had in that position,” said former fire department co-worker James Hoover of Northbrook.
“Craig was a really, really wonderful man to work with. He kept himself up on things that were coming and was a wonderful resource. When asked a question, his answers were always intelligent and what we needed to do,” Hoover added.
Another Northbrook resident, Allan Homberger, who also worked with Monroe in the fire department, but retired earlier, said that Monroe was very dedicated to his work.
“He also was very thoughtful. He was always thinking of others,” he added.
Monroe then transferred to the police department in July of 1979 to be responsible for all radio and telecommunications equipment maintenance and installation, and alarm contracts. He served not only as the 911 representative, but also as the Fire Chief’s National Emergency Radio System representative.
In 1986, Monroe was appointed to the newly created Northbrook Alarm Commission, a position he held for 25 years. He also served on the Village’s Employee Relations Committee and the police department’s Uniform and Equipment Committee.
Besides outfitting police personnel, Monroe handled building issues, purchasing, radio and telephone communications and fleet maintenance.
He also coordinated the police awards, patches and badges. In 2001, he organized a campaign to redesign the original village marshal’s Shermerville star for Northbrook’s 100 year centennial celebration.
Monroe’s latest duty, which was to oversee the property and evidence program, ended with his retirement April 30.
“Craig has always given his sincere dedication and loyalty to the village, the Northbrook Police Department and the citizens and business owners of Northbrook,” stated a resolution recognizing Monroe’s commitment to the community at the May 22 village meeting.
Now he plans to spend more time with his wife Bea and son Kevin, who also lives in Northbrook, as well as his daughter, Kelly, who lives in Florida.
“I’m also looking forward to getting my house in order doing projects that I haven’t had time to do, and working in my yard, because I really love landscaping,” he said.