Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Fifty eight years ago, on March 17, 1960, Hoffman Estates installed its first police chief.  The new police department would be headed by Mark Orlick, a 24 year veteran of the Highland Park, Michigan Police Department.

His first order of business would be to hire new police officers.  Starting salary for the new police officer/officers would be $4,800 for the first 6 months.  It wasn’t certain that more than one officer could be hired due to budget restraints.  New officers had to reside in Hoffman Estates for 1 year, pass all the physical exams, be between 5 ft. 9 inches and 6 ft. 2 inches tall and not be underweight according to the weight charts.

Chief Orlick was prepared to get right to the business of serving the residents of Hoffman Estates.  He brought police forms from the Highland Park, Michigan Police Department and a month’s supply of traffic tickets to see him through until he’d be able to print his own.  He needed to purchase a Ford heavy-duty police interceptor cruiser with a special police interceptor V-8 engine.  He had a Detroit dealer in mind but would also ask for a competitive price from a local dealer.  Until the new squad car arrived, officers would drive their own car or a rental.

Mark Orlick came to Hoffman Estates with an excellent background.  He had organized the Hazel Park, Michigan Police Department, taught classes for the FBI, received 2 citations for bravery and completed a course in police study at the Northwestern Traffic Institute.  He held the rank of Lt. Col. Infantry in the Michigan National Guard.

One of the requirements for his position as Police Chief was to reside in Hoffman Estates.  Until he sold his home in Michigan he decided to live at village hall.  At that time it was the old Hammerstein Farm House that had just become our village hall. It’s not known how long he lived at village hall but he certainly was always available for any emergency situation and was working around the clock to get the new police department up and running.

Mark Orlick was Hoffman Estates Police Chief until June of 1963.  He could have never foreseen the tremendous growth in our village.  He would be so impressed with the beautiful police department building located on Springmill and Higgins.  His early work was just the simple beginning of a police department for the young Hoffman Estates, a village that continues “Growing to Greatness”

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian



  1. Fred Luft Says:

    I remember when Chief Orlick moved just a couple of doors from where I grew up on Des Plaines Lane. As a little one I thought it was so cool to have the Chief living close by.

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