By Brian Marchetti
For the past 27years – more than 26 of those years at the 22nd District — Officer Jim Zubeck has proudly served the City of Chicago, and in particular, North Beverly. He retired on Apr, 14. It is safe to say that he will be missed.
Blue and white signs sprang up all around North Beverly, emblazoned with the Chicago Police Department Insignia and the phrase, “Thank You Officer Jim Zubeck.” Student-made art projects hang from the windows of Christ the King and Kellogg elementary schools expressing appreciation and thanks for his service.
“I loved taking care of that neighborhood,” Officer Jim Zubeck said. “In North Beverly they love the police and law enforcement. They’re good people.”
Originally from the Hegewisch neighborhood, where he still resides, Zubeck did factory work and construction before applying to the Chicago Police Department in 1993. He entered the academy in 1995 and officially joined the force in March of ’96, the first person in his family to serve in law enforcement.
In his time in North Beverly, Zubeck not only patrolled, but made himself a part of the community. By getting to know the neighborhood’s residents, he forged bonds of trust with its members.
“You hear a lot of talk about community policing lately and Officer Zubeck embodies what community policing is,” said Molly Sullivan, a 29-year resident of Beverly/Morgan Park. “He has dedicated his career to this community and district, getting to know the residents and taking time to talk with people from all backgrounds as he made his daily rounds from the school children to the senior citizens, he is known to everyone because of his pleasant demeanor and willingness to help. Officer Zubeck is an outstanding example of what a good and committed police officer is and he will be greatly missed.”
“The Chicago Police Department implemented its Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) in the mid-1990s. Jim Zubeck embodies the type of officer who the CPD envisioned would ensure the success of CAPS,” said 22nd District Police Commander Sean Joyce. “He has been a steady presence on Beat 2221 and developed relationships built upon trust, kindness, and mutual respect with so many of the residents and businesses in North Beverly. The incredible outpouring of support in recognition of his retirement is a testament to Jimmy’s impact on the community. As Officer Zubeck enjoys his well-earned retirement, the example he set for younger officers will continue to positively influence their future community interactions. What an incredible legacy to leave behind.”
Zubeck’s approach not only endeared him to the people under his protection but helped him in his work as a police officer. He learned the routines of the people in the area, relied on mail carriers to help spot anything out of the ordinary, and kept a watchful eye on the grammar schools in his beat.
“In my eyes, presence is the greatest deterrent to crime,” Zubeck said.
He credits his skill in policing to the number of great people he worked with including his commanders, partners and desk sergeants. He believed everyone had something to teach him, from Cook County Sheriffs and their search techniques to police officers who worked on the West Side and their situational awareness.
“Every cop had something to teach you,” Zubeck said.
In addition to all the bosses he loved working for, the excellent detectives, the partners he had throughout his career, Zubeck wanted to send a special thank you to dispatchers Carla Lewis and Vera Emerson.
“The dispatchers… they’re the ones that keep you safe,” Zubeck said.
In his retirement, Zubeck plans to relax, continue his work as a fencing coach, and do some weightlifting.
In his last days as a police officer, he was humbled by the outpouring of support he received from the community.
“I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” Zubeck said. “For whatever they think I did for them, they did ten times for me.”