North Royalton Chief of Police, John Elek, will retire after serving North Royalton since 1984. His retirement date is set for St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Elek started his position as Chief of the North Royalton Police Department in 2012, after the retirement of Paul Bican. “He’s a great guy,” said Council President, Larry Antoskiewicz, of Elek. “I thank him for all his service and appreciate the way he has run the Police Department since he has been Chief. He’s done a great job with the resources he has available.”
Elek is a North Royalton resident who graduated from Columbia High School in 1976 and received an Associate of Arts Degree from Cuyahoga Community College in 1978. He graduated Cum Laude from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 1979. He also received Law Enforcement Training in Intelligence Led Policing, OVI Checkpoints, Ethics and Professionalism, DNA Collections, and numerous other training workshops.
Elek started with the North Royalton Police Department as a Patrolman in 1984. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1988, where his duties included Patrol Supervisor, Detective Bureau Supervisor, Jail Administrator, Range Sergeant and Reserve Unit Sergeant. During that time, he coordinated U.S. Customs investigations with the Caribbean Task Force and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which resulted in drug trafficking and food stamp laundering charges. He also created policies to meet state jail standards for an eight hour holding facility. He was then promoted to Lieutenant in 2006, where his duties included the supervision of communications, vehicle maintenance, training, policy development, traffic unit and SWAT. He was also Reserve Commander.
Of his tenure in the North Royalton Police Department, Elek said that the one major change he has experienced is the difference in use of computers. “You can get a lot of information a lot quicker,” said Elek. “There was nothing like what we have now. We can retrieve records and pictures much more quickly and easily. It makes it easier to stay on top of a case. We deal with a lot of information.”
What advice would the Chief give to the new Chief? “The whole job has changed tremendously, not only the line officers, but up the ranks, because society is getting more mobile,” said Elek. For that reason, he recommends that they “stay up on things ling training and the changes in the laws.”
“Our department is a reflection of the leadership and John Elek is responsible, along with the ranks, for being known as one of the finest police departments in Northeast Ohio. We are well respected, well trained and we have a lot of good candidates coming up through the ranks, so we won’t miss a step,” said Mayor Bob Stefanik.
Lieutenant James Cutler will serve as the acting Chief until a replacement is chosen. Stefanik said he expects that to take place in late April, early May.

Contributing Writer