Former Spring Grove Police Chief and current village trustee Thomas Sanders | Provided Photo

Authorities announced that former Spring Grove Police Chief Thomas Sanders, who served as a police officer for 47 years, has died at age 69.

The Spring Grove Police Department made the announcement Saturday morning, saying it was “with heavy heart” to announce his passing.

Sanders was a long-time Spring Grove resident and served as a volunteer firefighter, village president, chief of police.

He also served as a village trustee for the Village of Spring Grove at the time of his death.

Sanders started his career in law enforcement in 1978 at the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

He transitioned to multiple assignments and retired as a sergeant from the sheriff’s office.

Sanders came out of retirement to serve the community as police chief for the Spring Grove Police Department from May 1, 2007, until his retirement on April 30, 2021.

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In total, he served as a police officer for 47 years.

“[He] will long be remembered as an architect for the foundation of the Spring Grove Police Department and a mentor to younger Officers,” current Spring Grove Police Chief Michael Niedzwiecki said.

“Tom was an honorable man who always put the best interests of his Officer ahead of his own needs and served as a mentor for many Officers in his Career,” Niedzwiecki said.

Sanders was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather “that will be greatly missed by his family and officers alike,” Niedzwiecki added.