Population growth means new police commission for Elburn

By on July 29, 2011

Photo: Wayne Beyerhof, Judy Van Bogaert, and Wiley Overley are sworn in as the new Elburn police commission. Courtesy Photo

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—Three Elburn residents were named as the village’s new police commission, now that the village has more than 5,000 residents; 5,602 to be exact, according to the 2010 Census.

Wiley Overley, Judy Van Bogaert and Wayne Byerhof were sworn in as the new commission, after being appointed by Village President Dave Anderson.

Illinois state law requires the establishment of a police commission when the population exceeds the 5,000 mark for municipalities with an existing police department.

The commissioners were appointed by Village President Dave Anderson, who said there were enough applicants to make a decision.

“We had three people who were top of the line, and those are the three we felt should have that position,” he said.

Police Chief Steve Smith welcomed the addition of a new police commission to help him in his job.

“They will be the ones to ensure a proper process for hiring and any major disciplinary action that is taken (against police officers),” he said. “The standardization of how everything is done will be nothing but a benefit for the village and the Police Department.”

Smith said the commission will help ensure fewer mistakes in hiring or discipline by having somebody else take an unbiased look at everything, of which Anderson was in agreement.

“It’s not left to one person to discipline or hire,” Smith said.

Each of the appointees has a history of community service. Van Bogaert, who is a bookkeeper at Kaneland, has volunteered through the Lions for Elburn Day. Byerhof was on the police force for 52 years and also served as village treasurer. Overley is a long-time member of the Elburn American Legion Post 630.

Commissioners receive a $1,000-per-year stipend. The first Elburn Police Commission meeting is Thursday, July 28, at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall.