No officer in charge while chief sought

By on October 9, 2009

Village also plans to hire five more part-time police
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park officials soon will interview police chief candidates, and hope to fill the long-vacant position by early December. Meantime, the Police Department is operating without an officer in charge, following Officer Chuck Slater’s resignation in September.

The village has received 11 applications for the full-time police chief position, which will pay an annual salary of no more than $48,800.

“We don’t have any flexibility on the salary amount,” Village Personnel Committee Chairman Debra Armstrong said. “We don’t have the financial resources.”

The position also offers a $600 medical stipend per month.

Police chief candidates must have seven years of full-time experience in law enforcement, with at least three years in a supervisory position.

The deadline for police chief applications is Friday, Oct. 9, after which the personnel committee will review the candidates’ qualifications and recommend approximately five people for the Village Board to interview. The village also will conduct background checks of the candidates and require them to have drug screenings.

Maple Park has been without a police chief since June 2008, when village officials decided against renewing former Chief Steve Yahnke’s contract.

In addition to hiring a new police chief, the village of Maple Park plans to employ up to four more part-time officers.

Currently, the village Police Department has five part-time officers. With that staffing, the Police Department can only provide law enforcement in Maple Park for about eight hours per each 24-hour day. Village officials want to improve that situation by adding officers.

“We want to make sure all shifts are covered,” Armstrong said.

The Personnel Committee recently interviewed four candidates for police officer, but discontinued interviewing this week.

“We decided to wait until the police chief is hired and let him hire his team,” Armstrong said.

The hours that the Police Department currently covers depend upon what is going on in the village, but patrolling the streets during busy traffic hours and maintaining safety at school bus stops are priorities, Armstrong said.

During times when Maple Park police are not on duty, the Kane County Sherrif’s Department responds to emergencies in the village.

Police officer candidates must have three years of law enforcement experience. The wage for a part-time police officer is $16.50 per hour.