Commissioner Damon E. Rockett
Damon E. Rockett, Harvey's first Black Commissioner, was elected in 1979 as Commissioner of Public Health & Safety (Police and Fire Departments.)
Commissioner Rockett is married to Darlene and has two children, Sean and Deborah. He is a graduate of Drake University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Governors State University. He is retired from Illinois Bell Telephone (Ameritech) and the State of Illinois.
Commissioner Rockett has an active community service record spanning more than three decades. He had worked and sought for the betterment of his community through such organizations as the South Suburban Human Relations Commission, United Citizens for School District 147, Black Council for Action, (Human Action Community Organization (HACO), Harvey Little League, South Cook County Girl Scouts, School Districts 147 & 152, Thornton Community College Board, Calumet Union Drainage Board, Harvey Rotary Club, YMCA and others. He has received community service awards and recognition from Illinois Bell (Ameritech), South Suburban Chamber of Commerce, Fred Hampton Award and Harvey Jacees, a business-social organization.
During his first term as Public Health and Safety Commissioner, Mr. Rockett has placed minorities in non-patrolmen positions, increased minority representation as patrolmen, upgraded African Americans to positions of responsibility, appointed Harvey's first African American Deputy Chief of Police, Harvey's first African American Fire Chief, instituted computers in both Fire and Police Departments and increased police manpower and training.
In December 2003, the City of Harvey passed an Ordinance to rename a street in his honor at 147th & Robey in Harvey, Illinois.
Damon retired in 2014 from South Suburban College. He began to play golf on all days that the weather permitted. He also spent time attempting to learn other languages and relaxing with friends and families.
Damon's zest for politics and golf, quiet demeanor, professionalism, contagious laugh, and unassuming humor, were known to many. He said he was always grateful to be blessed with love, humor, kindness and strength of character. He could always bring reason to chaos while keeping a "cool" perspective.
His health began to deteriorate in 2012 and on Saturday, October 2, 2021 Damon Emerson Rockett quietly and peacefully went home to be with the Lord. He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Darlene, his son, Sean Damon Rocket (Charlotte) his step-daughter, Deborah Harris, his grand-daughters, Shanel Harris and Roslyn Harris, great grand-sons, Xavier Seals and Tristan Brown, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and numerous friends.
Damon was an outstanding servant and leader. He will be missed, but not forgotten.
A Celebration of Life for Damon Rockett will be held Friday, Otober 8, 2021 at "Life Church", 925 MacArthur Drive., Chicago Heights, IL 60411, Pre-past at 9:30 a.m. and Funeral Services at 11:00 a.m. Burial immediately following at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.