Chief of Police

On July 1, 2018, Chief Nick Gailius retired. We cannot thank him enough for the past 32+ years of dedicated service to the department and the citizens of Fairview Heights. We wish him well in retirement!


Nick Gailius was appointed the City’s sixth Chief of Police on October 5, 2010. He was born and raised in Fairview Heights, where he continues to live today with his wife, Karen, and two children – Anna and Nicholas.

Gailius started with the Fairview Heights Police Department as a Police Explorer at the age of 14. At age 15, he was elected president and chief explorer. At the age of 19, he became a dispatcher with the department. Shortly after turning 21, he was appointed as a police officer with the City.

Gailius was Patrolman of the Year in 1989 and again in 1990. In 1992, he was assigned to MEGSI as an undercover agent and rose to the position of Deputy Director of the group. He returned to the department in 1994 where he assumed duties as a detective.

In 1998, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and served in the patrol division until 2000 when the detective sergeant position was created. He served in that capacity until 2002, when he was promoted to lieutenant.
After promotion to lieutenant, Gailius served as the department’s executive lieutenant, where he was responsible for the operations of the investigations unit and the civilian support staff of the department. He was also responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the construction of the new police facility in 2002 and 2003.

In 2006, Gailius was given additional duties by the Mayor, who appointed him the Coordinator of the City’s Emergency Services and Disaster Agency. He was responsible for oversight and coordination of any citywide response to an emergency or disaster. He has commanded response to three declared disasters, as well as numerous critical incidents and high risk special operations.
Gailius is a 1984 graduate of Belleville East High School. He holds an Associates Degree in Administration of Justice from Southwestern Illinois College, a Bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University, and a Masters’ of Business Administration degree from Lindenwood University.

Gailius is a graduate of the 235th session of the FBI National Academy. And, he is a graduate of the Administrative Officer’s Course of the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville where he was recognized as a Dean’s Scholar.

Gailius is president of the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs’ Association. He is also chairman of the ASSIST 14 board, which advises on regional police training matters. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the FBI National Academy Associates. Chief Gailius is also a member of the Greater St. Louis Area Major Case Squad Board of Directors as well as a member of the Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission Board of Directors. He is also a past president of the Rotary Club of Fairview Heights.