16th Police District Commander Maureen Biggane is retiring after nearly 30 years on the force; she says the district’s unofficial mascot Rubble has brought a lot of delight to officers
by BRIAN NADIG
16th (Jefferson Park) District commander Maureen Biggane, who is retiring on May 17 after nearly 30 years on the police force, has the following words of advice for those thinking of becoming an officer:
“Without hesitation I’d tell them it’s the greatest job in the world,” Biggane said. “We’ve had some challenging times, (but) it’s still a noble profession.”
Biggane said that it took her six months to officially turn in her retirement paperwork because she “truly loves” her job and was reluctant to leave.
However, the 53-year-old Biggane, who became an attorney in 2017 and lives on the Northwest Side,, said that she ultimately decided to spend more time pursuing her other interests, including volunteer opportunities. She said that she has a special place in her heart for veterans, seniors and animals, adding that over her lifetime she has had nine rescue dogs.
Biggane, who was appointed commander in 2018, said that one of her most difficult days came in 2019 when five people were murdered by a neighbor inside an apartment building in the 6700 block of West Irving Park Road in the district.
In contrast, Biggane said, she will never forget the day when thousands packed Milwaukee Avenue in front of the district station for a prayer vigil and support the police rally following the killing of police officer Ella French in 2021.
“It was an outpouring of support,” Biggane said. “(Officers) saw they had a community they could lean on.”
Biggane entered the police force not long after she graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign. Her siblings also have worked as police officers, and her father was a firefighter. Her husband, John Pasiewicz, is a Chicago police sergeant.
Biggane has held several Chicago Police Department titles, including patrol officer, Organized Crime Unit sergeant, a field lieutenant and a lieutenant in the Office of the First Deputy Superintendent. She also managed the department’s Office of News Affairs and worked in the Detective Division.
Biggane’s final weeks as commander have been marked by what she describes as the new “unofficial mascot of the 16th District Station,” a bulldog named Rubble, who is often there hours at a time.
The dog’s owners reportedly abandoned Rubble near Harlem and Foster avenues due to his deteriorating health, but Rubble was later brought to the station, and the Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation has spent $12.000 on his medical expenses.
“In a perfect world, every police department would have a Rubble,” Biggane said. “He’s brought a lot of delight … and earned the (mascot) title.”
Biggane’s replacement has not been named as of Friday afternoon, May 13.