Retiring police officer Tom Guenther recieves a plaque from Officer Tom Cabanski.    Photo by Mary Mumbrue

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Family, friends and colleagues packed the fire department training room on March 23 to say farewell to retiring Evanston Police Commander Thomas Guenther.

During his tenure with the Evanston Police Department, Cmdr. Guenther served in several positions that included patrol officer, detective, crime prevention officer, patrol sergeant, supervision of the community strategies unit, commander of juvenile investigations and the department’s public information officer.

Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein of the police clergy team said Cmdr. Guenther was “open, honest and caring.” The Rabbi said Cmdr. Guenther “enabled us to do our mission. … We will always be indebted to you.”

Police Chief Richard Eddington said Cmdr. Guenther in his role as communications manager for the department “changed the perception of the Evanston police department within the community. It made us a more public organization and a more accountable one.” Chief Eddington also said it is a “source of pride for an organization when one of its members becomes head of another organization.” Cmdr. Guenther will become chief of police with the College of Lake County police department.

In a press release, the police department said Cmdr. Guenther “leaves a distinguished career. … He has received numerous letters of appreciation, and has been the recipient of departmental commendations and honorable mentions.”