Fifth Street Road Project

The City of Lincoln, State of Illinois, and County of Logan have partnered to redevelop Fifth Street Road west of Lincoln Parkway (Old Route 66) to the Interstate overpass. Not only will this improve the roadway itself, but was to correct water drainage along the roadway itself from neighboring developments.


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On June 6, 2016, the Lincoln City Council approved ordinance #2016–851 amending section 9-7-4 of the City Code, Downtown Parking Regulations within the City of Lincoln.  The purpose of this ordinance was to help facilitate customer parking by allowing customers to park on the streets in front of businesses and to help with patrons to the government buildings find convenient parking for the in and out transactions.

Recently the Street Department erected new signage in the downtown area marking those areas designated for customer parking only between the hours of 9AM and 5PM.  The Police Department will now start to enforce those areas designated by the attached map.   Violations can be reported to the police department at 217-732-2151.

The Lincoln Police Department had its humble beginning in 1855. In 1855 when Lincoln was incorporated as a town, the board of village officers created the position of “Constable”. LeRoy Brown was appointed as the first Constable for the town of Lincoln. The position of Constable lasted until 1865.


In 1865 the position of “City Marshall” was created when the town of Lincoln and Postville combined to form the city of “Lincoln”. The newly formed City Council of Lincoln appointed Charles C. Brackett as the first City Marshall. Thereafter, the position of City Marshall was filled by elections each year, along with other elected city officials, in the month of April.


The following is a list of City Marshalls and the year they were elected:

1866 J.S. Randolph

1867 Walter B. McNeal

1868 Walter B. McNeal

1869 Thomas Parker

1870 *Not listed*

1871 T.J. Larison

1872 David Hummell

1873 R.B. Fryar

1874 R.B. Fryar

1875 Charles Phillips

1876 R.B. Fryar

1877 William J. Pettit

1878 Joseph Childs

1879 W.H. Beach

1880 Joseph Childs

1881 Patrick McCann

1882 Mark Storen

1883 Joseph Childs

1884 John Bushell

1885 John Bushell


During the time that the City Marshall was police administrator, the city had a police force consisting of four positions. The four positions were filled by appointment of the Mayor with the approval of the City Council. The four positions consisted of the following: one day time police officer, two night time officers, and one merchant’s police officer.


In 1886 the citizens of Lincoln approved a proposal in the general election which allowed the city to surrender the special charter, which the city had originally organized under. Thus the city was able to reorganize under the general law. One aspect of this change allowed the city to do away with the election of a City Marshall. The Mayor was then allowed to appoint a “Chief of Police” with the approval of the City Council. This practice currently used today.


The following is a list of Chief of Police for the City of Lincoln.

May 6-1886-June 8, 1893 John M. Bushell

June 9, 1893-May 9, 1895 John M. Mitchell

May 9, 1895-June 2, 1899 Henry M. Bushell

June 2, 1899-April 30, 1901 William Harper

April 30, 1901-May 2, 1904 James Moos

May 2, 1904-May 01, 1905 Thomas H. MadiganChief Madigan Police Force

May 1, 1905-May 6, 1907 Herman Reetz

May 6, 1907-August 5, 1907 Martin Dougherty

August 5, 1907-April 30, 1909 William J. Graver

April 30, 1909-May 5, 1913 W.W. Miller

May 5, 1913-May 3, 1915 John Tyne

May 3, 1915-June 1, 1918 Martin Dougherty

June 1, 1918-April 29, 1919 Otto Seitz

April 29, 1919-May 3, 1921 Martin Dougherty

May 3, 1921-May 7, 1923 Matthew Coogan

May 7, 1923-May 5, 1924 Paul Troeger

May 5, 1924-May 4, 1925 William Hopp

May 4, 1925-May 3, 1926 Guy Wyles

May 3, 1926-May 2, 1927 W.E. Williams

May 2, 1927-May 6, 1929 A.G. McAfee

June 6, 1929-June 1, 1931 James W. Wyse

June 1, 1931-June 5, 1933 Martin Dougherty

June 5, 1933-May 17,1937 Willard A. Comstock

May 17, 1937-April 3, 1938 J.A. Leininger

May 2, 1938-Dec.4, 1939 Willard Comstock

Dec. 4, 1939-May 1, 1941 Marshall Brannan

May 1, 1941-June 5, 1944 Martin Dougherty

June 5, 1944-May 7, 1945 William H. Unland

May 7, 1945-Nov. 1953 Marshall DownsPolice Force

Nov. 2, 1953-Jan.1, 1970 Earl Minder

Dec.8, 1969-Oct.10, 1979 John Wodetzki

Oct.10, 1979-May 1, 1986 Robert Hahn

May 1, 1986-April 30, 1989 James Davis

May 1, 1989-May 30, 1997 Ronald Robbins

May 5, 1997-May 7, 2001 Richard Ludolph

May 7, 2001-Aug.15, 2004 Richard Montcalm

Aug.16, 2004-April 30, 2007 Robert Rawlins

May 1, 2007-March 15, 2010 Stuart Erlenbush

May 3, 2010-July 15, 2015 Ken Greenslate

July 20, 2015-Present Paul T. Adams


Until 1870, Police were hired on a month by month basis and had to submit a monthly bill for services to the City Council to be paid. They could be, and often were, replaced when the month ended depending on the politics of the town at that time. They served as Constables as well as Town Marshalls. Often the officers were hired by the ward they lived in and served as policemen for their ward.


On April 21, 1870 the City Council passed an ordinance creating a Police Force. So that date is the official birthday of the Lincoln Police Department. The first Chief of Police was Lewis Rosenthal. He was appointed by the City Council by a 6-2 vote. He was dismissed on September 5, 1870 for failure to make a sufficient number of ordinance arrests. In order to force Rosenthal to resign his position, the City Council voted to lower his salary to one cent per month. He resigned October 3, 1870. The City Council then reverted back to the elected City Marshall system to replace the Chief of Police until a new chief could be named.


There were “night police” that were appointed by the City Council who served under the City Marshall’s Office. They worked only at night from 6:00pm to 6:00am, six nights per week. They were paid $35.00 per month. The Marshall and the Police Chief received $50.00 per month. Part of the night police duties were to light the gas street lamps at dark and extinguish them at sunrise.


The difference between the City Marshall’s Office and the Chief of Police was mainly administrative. The Chief commanded the police force and made ordinance arrests. The City Marshall worked as an officer of the City Court serving warrants and made felony arrests. He was also in charge of the night police. Later the night police came under the direction of the Chief of Police and the Marshall position was discontinued. The town merchants then hired their own watchmen, which became the “Merchant Police”, after the turn of the century.

Older Police Vehicles

Currently the same system exists today with the Mayor making the appointment of Chief of Police, which must be approved by a majority vote of the City Council. The current rank structure is as follows;

Chief of Police

Deputy Chief






Until February 2008, the “Assistant Chief” of Police was chosen by the Police and Fire Commission after candidates took a written test, and oral interview for the position. Only a Sergeant could test for that position and once appointed, could not be removed without just cause. In February 2008 the City Ordinance changed and the Chief of Police may appoint the newly titled position “Deputy Chief” with the approval of City Council. In February 2008, Michael Geriets was appointed Lincoln’s first Deputy Chief being appointed by Chief Stuart Erlenbush then reappointed under Chief Ken Greenslate in May 2010.



The Lincoln Police Department takes pride in being part of the many technological changes society has brought forth, assisting our agency to be innovative in pro-active policing, investigations, and enforcement, which are resulting in successful prosecutions of criminal offenders. These include the use of digital in car cameras, mobile data computers, use of mobile crash reporting system, which sends our accident reports from the squad car directly to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Use of New World Reporting system which integrates the Logan County Sheriff’s Department, Logan County Jail, and Lincoln Police Department’s information into one shared data base. This proves essential when investigating crimes that occur in Lincoln and outside the jurisdiction of city limits, providing accurate demographics for the research of crime, location, method of operation etc…


The Lincoln Police Department continues play an important role in educating our youth by teaching D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) in the grade schools, Lincoln Junior High, and Senior High School levels.


kent county health dept sexting comic cover 020912 20120209173324 640 480Sexting is sending sexually explicit text or photographs from mobile devices.  Sexting can lead to embarassment and can also be a felony in Illinois.


Do not send a sexually provocative picture of yourself to another person.  Once the photograph is sent, it can't be taken back.  That picture can surface in a number of ways or be shared by the person you sent it to without your knowledge.  Many times photos are shared between a girlfriend or a boyfriend, but what if the relationship doesn't last. 


In 2010, Gov Pat Quinn signed into a law a new state statue that would be a less of a punishment for those under 18 years of age. However, the law is very specific and only incorporates the sending of pictures.  Mere possession of child pornography can still be charged as a felony and require the person to register as a sex offender for up to 10 years.


If you receive sexually explicity photos of someone you know to be under 18 years of age, delete them immediately.  Notify the sender that the pictures are of a child and should be deleted immediatley. If they continue to send you pictures, notify the proper authorities.  If you forward the picture to someone else, you can also be charged with a crime!


Sexting: How Teens Can Stay Safe

Sexting: How Parents Can Keep Their Kids Safe

Kent County, MI, Comic Book for Teens on Sexting - "Message Sent"

Illinois State Law for Sexting

Illinois State Law for Child Pornography

imagesLincoln Police Officers make traffic contacts with the public on a daily basis. Officers take extra care for the safety of the occupants of the vehicle they stopped and for their own safety. Officers must try to concentrate on many different aspects during a traffic stop. One being the vehicle itself for possible dangers and another the oncoming traffic. What you do during the stop can help make the stop more safe for you and the officer.


Take these steps into account the next time you are stopped by a police officer:


1. Pull off to the right side of the road in a safe location.
2. Turn your engine & music off.
3. Turn your flashers & interior lights on (at night).
4. Stay in your car with your safety belt on. 
5. Remain calm & ask passengers to remain quiet.
6. Roll your window down & keep your hands visible. 
7. Don't make any movements to cause concern, do not attempt to reach for insurance or driver's license until asked. 
8. Present proper ID when asked.
9. Answer questions fully & clearly. 
10. Don't argue with the officer. Explain in court.


Thinking about dating online or putting personal information about yourself online? Please read the following about how to protect yourself from online predators and scammers.


Myspace.com and Facebook.com have become huge hits among young people to meet each other and stay in touch. It also has become a good site for sexual predators to find out information and meet with young innocent individuals.


As a parent or even as a youth, do not give your date of birth, personal address, phone number, or full name to anyone on the internet unless you personally know the person. When you talk with someone online, in a chat room or through e-mail, you have absolutely no idea what the person looks like on the other end. They may portray themselves as everything you are looking for in a person just to get you to converse with them. Once conversation takes place it is only time before they attempt to get personal information from you.


Scammers are another large part of the Internet problem. People from Nigeria or other countries attempt to get you to send money to them through Western Union or other ways. The Lincoln Police Department has investigated several such attempts to get Lincoln residents to purchase items or send money and get nothing in return.


Remember one important fact while conversing with others online: “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true”.


If you are receiving e-mail from someone and think it may be a scam please search the Internet for his or her e-mail address. Many online dating sites list scammers in a database like this one:
Dating ‘n More


Please read over the safety information provided by Facebook.


If you are scammed and would like to report the problem to the proper authorities please visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)


Ordinances and Laws that affect the citizens of Lincoln.

Safety Information for the community.

Services offered by the Lincoln Police Department


Information is available on the following sites:
Logan County Current Statistics

Memorial Health System  - Includes daily statistics for MHS and a COVID-19 Risk Screening

Local Business Resources
Logan County Department of Public Health
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


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City Hall
700 Broadway Street
Lincoln, Illinois 62656



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