Longtime Fairview Heights Police Chief, Nick Gailius has announced his intent to retire from the Fairview Heights Police Department. The retirement will take effect in early July.

Gailius started with the Fairview Heights Police as a volunteer police explorer at the age of 14. He was hired as a police dispatcher in 1986 and then as a police officer in 1988. Throughout his career, Gailius served in a number of capacities, including patrolman, detective, undercover agent, drug task force deputy director, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, executive lieutenant, emergency management coordinator, deputy chief, and then chief of police.

Gailius was recognized by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police as Police Chief of the Year for Illinois in 2017. He has also been recipient of the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association Olympian Lifetime Leadership award, United States Attorney award, as well as patrolman of the year on two occasions.

Gailius has served as police chief since 2010. In his tenure, Gailius started a number of community initiatives, including The Metro-east Cadets of Policing; The first community notification system in the Metro-east; a hot spot policing team; a citizen’s police academy; a Volunteers in Police Services program; a rape aggression defense program; and neighborhood-focused patrol effort initiatives.

Gailius said, “It has been an honor leading one of the premier police departments in the Metro-east. I will always love policing and serving others and the community.” He continued, “Fairview Heights PD has been a big part of my life for 37 years. It will be tough to leave this behind. But, I must look forward to future opportunities to continue my service to others.”

Mayor Mark Kupsky stated, “Chief Gailius has done an excellent job leading our police department as chief for the past eight years, and a significant impact on the city through his tenure over the past 30+ years that he has been part of our police department.” The mayor wishes him the best success in his retirement.

Mayor Kupsky has stated that the Board of Police and Fire Commission will begin the process to select a new chief in early July. Additionally, the Mayor will announce an interim chief to lead the department until the new chief is selected.