Retired officer was the voice behind Buffalo Grove’s weekly police blotter
Pete Lippert, retired deputy chief for the Buffalo Grove Police Department, shows off the memorabilia in his home on Jan. 13. | Curtis Lehmkuhl—Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 12:19PM
BUFFALO GROVE — One of the most well-read writers in Buffalo Grove, for more than five years, was Pete Lippert.
Until Dec. 31, he reported the blotter that the police department posted every weekday on its website.
Lippert spent the majority of his law enforcement career with Buffalo Grove, as an officer from 1972 until his retirement in 2003.
After piloting the Lake County Sheriff’s Office’s patrol boat on Lake Michigan and a few other gigs, he came back to Buffalo Grove in April of 2007 to write a blotter that, at the time, was e-mailed to readers. All 200 or so of them.
Village Hall downsized Lippert’s position at the end of the year — he left at age 66, with more than 2,900 readers. On Friday, he recalled long-gone days of chasing horses in a much more rural community, the woes of an office job and the joy of seeing lives, and sometimes limbs, get put back together.
Q: How did you get into law enforcement?
A: I served in the United States Army from ’66 to ’68, and from ’67 to ’68 in Vietnam with the Fourth Infantry Division. During that time, the Illinois State Police was recruiting. I had sent a tentative application to them from Vietnam. When I got home in June of ’68, I mentioned this to my fiance. She’s still my wife after 45 years. Well, she went ballistic. At that time, they had the riots going on down in Cairo, and the convention in Chicago. She made me promise not to join the Illinois State Police. So I did a desk job. I spent nearly four years with the yellow pages. One day, I was sitting at my desk, and I looked out the window and the blue sky, and I said “I cannot sit behind a desk for the rest of my life.”
Q: The blotter is full of a lot of joy, a lot of sadness and lot of bizarreness. Let’s start at the bottom: What’s the saddest blotter item you ever saw?
A: Mother and adult daughter, the adult daughter is schizophrenic, and the mother is, I don’t think, without issues herself. Our officers go to their house at least twice a week, and it’s just over and over and over. The daughter is threatening the mother, the mother kicks the daughter out. And there are so many issues like that. It is the domestics and the family issues that are the most heart-wrenching. And the suicides.
Q: What’s the weirdest blotter item you ever saw?
A: The weirdest call I ever had … I got this call for a rape in progress. This was in ’75. Man called in, he said, ‘My daughter’s being raped in the back yard!’ We flew up there, busting every stoplight along the way. We get there, and there’s just a white dog, a white Samoyed, in the back yard. I said ‘What happened?’ And the guy said ‘A mutt jumped the fence and was raping my daughter!’ I walked away before I got angry.
Q: That’s crazy.
A: When I was a brand new rookie, in 1973, we had The Seymour Incident.
Q: The Seymour Incident?
A: Seymour the Egyptian Cobra. It was my call. Look it up.