Inspired by role models like his father, a pre-War Lithuanian Border Control Officer, Limey Nargelenas has pursued a life-long career in police work, rising to the rank of Superintendent (commander) of the Illinois State Police. Some in Springfield might also remember his years as Director of Police Security and Safety at LLCC. Limey also has served as Deputy Director and Manager of Governmental Relations and Training for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
Only a few years after the restoration of Lithuania’s independence in 1991, Limey had the privilege of traveling back to where his family story began to assist the fledgling independent police forces of Vilnius and Kaunas as a consultant and trainer for the Pointman Leadership Institute.
Limey’s father, Antanas Nargelenas, born in Ukmerge, Lithuania, was taken prisoner by the invading German army in 1941 in the line of duty securing Lithuania’s border. After the Russians invaded Lithuania for the second time in 1944, Antanas and his wife Jadvyga Snabelyte Nargelenas (born in Ruminskis, Lithuania), ended up in a displaced persons (DP) camp in Watenstedt, Germany, where Limey was born.
While refugees from the Nargelenas and Snabelys families were scattered across the world, Limey and his immediate family ended up in Georgetown, Ill., due to the kind sponsorship of the Gustaitas family. Limey’s father, like so many other former professionals, had no choice but to become a factory worker (and build homes on the side) to support his growing family in the U.S.
However, local Lithuanian-American Illinois State Troopers became friends of the family and gave Limey’s father a continuing connection to police work. Limey still remembers looking up to local Officers Walter Lumsargis, Leonard Balsis, Vernon Cook, and John Matulis. Their reputation for upholding the law in the face of small-town corruption made Limey aspire to be a state trooper when he grew up. “I will never forget the time, as a Boy Scout in Georgetown Troop 16, when I was given the opportunity to ride along with Trooper Walt Lumsargis, who later became Sheriff of Vermilion County. I got to be the acting Georgetown Police Chief that day.”
Limey says he’s been grateful for the opportunity to travel the world teaching classes or consulting for police departments in China, Mongolia, England, Korea, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Australia, Germany, and Lithuania. He has also served as adjunct faculty for UIS, the Northwestern University Traffic Institute, Southern Illinois University and the University of North Florida. Limey is a former president of the Illinois Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and the Illinois Retired State Police Officers Association.
A graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute, Limey earned his M.A. in legal studies and B.A. in social justice from UIS. (His life story also includes varsity football at U of I and restaurant ownership in Springfield.) Today, Limey coordinates the legislative agenda for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police as president of Capitol Consulting, Inc., and is completing a Ph.D. from SIU-Carbondale in vocational education.
Jo Ann Reynolds said:
I found this article very interesting. I appreciate the tribute to my uncle, Illinois State Trooper, Leonard Balsis and his friends, Troopers John Matulis and Walter Lumsargis. They were my heroes too. We miss you Uncle Lenny! REST IN PEACE.