“Everything that I put my mind to, I’m like a bull in a china shop,” said Detective Rich Wistocki of the Naperville Police Department.
From the swat team, to cyber crime, to keeping kids off drugs, Wistocki has done it all.
It started when he became a police officer in 1987, following in his grandfather’s footsteps.
Since 1990 he’s been doing that work in Naperville.
And since 1997 Wistocki has been a pioneer in cyber crime – one of the first to take on online child predators.
“I would take over [the personas of] kids who are about to be abused or are being abused, become them, and see what they wanted to do,” Wistocki said.
Wistocki has also helped write several Illinois laws including the teen sexting law.
“I wanted to make sure kids were not sex offenders,” he said. “That they [get] an education and restorative justice, so we give them community service, self-esteem classes, they have to do research papers because those are the things that make our kids learn about their mistakes.”
Wistocki said one of his most memorable cases is the 2014 swatting case that brought the Naperville swat team to phony crisis call at a neighborhood home.
Wistocki and his team were eventually able to catch the online hacker behind the crime when others could not.
“So he made a comment something like, ‘What’s the matter FBI? Can’t you find me where I am?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, hell yeah I’m going to find out where you are.’ And it led me to Las Vegas Nevada. So my team and I went there, and he was responsible for over nine swatting all over the country,” he explained.
And now after 30 years, Wistocki does not plan to take it easy in his retirement.
He says he will be working as a consultant for police departments around the country to train officers to deal with cyber crimes, as well as continuing to work with lawmakers in Illinois to enact new legislation, and continuing to tour the country with his “Cop and the Convict” messages against drug use.
“I have a mission,” he said. “And just because I stop this in Naperville, my mission is going to be bigger and greater to empower more police departments and save more kids than ever before.”
It’s a mission Wistocki says is his calling from God.
Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.
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