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HomeGeorge Pradel

Mayor A. George Pradel was born in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood in 1937 and his family moved to Naperville two years later and would call the city his home for the rest of his life. Mayor Pradel was a 1955 graduate of Naperville Community High School and went on to serve for three years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He married his wife Pat in 1960. He earned an associate degree in Police Science from the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn and became a member of the Oakbrook Terrace, IL Police Department in 1963. In 1966, he joined the Naperville Police Department, where he spent much of his career visiting schools and speaking to children, earning him the nickname "Officer Friendly." Mayor Pradel was perhaps best known for bringing the national Safety Town program to the Naperville community in the 1970s. In 1977, Naperville started Safety Town, and Mayor Chet Rybicki named Mayor Pradel to be its first teacher. Now serving over 1,700 students in its summer program each year, generations of Naperville children have learned about pedestrian, bike, fire, water, railroad, bus, animal and personal safety thanks to Mayor Pradel's efforts. So synonymous was Mayor Pradel with Safety Town that the kid sized building campus on Aurora Avenue was renamed the A. George and Patricia Pradel Safety Town of Naperville in 2015. Mayor Pradel served on the Naperville Police Department for over 29 years before retiring from the force as Lieutenant of Police on April 30, 1995, to become Mayor of Naperville. Mayor Pradel was re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011 making him the longest-serving mayor of Naperville. He will be remembered for his many public appearances, friendly demeanor and his demonstrated enthusiasm for Naperville. Mayor Pradel continued to be the City's "number one cheerleader" after being named the first Mayor Emeritus in Naperville's history following the end of his tenure as mayor in 2015. Throughout the years, Mayor Pradel gave tirelessly to not only city government, but local and regional organizations as well. A member of the Rotary Club International, Illinois Police Association and Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Pradel was the recipient of numerous awards, including from the Rotary Club, Boys Scouts of America, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chamber of Commerce and an Honorary Doctorate from North Central College.