Cary to analyze police department's needs

CARY – With the police department preparing to transition to a new police chief, the village is conducting a needs and operational analysis of the department.

The village has hired REM Management Services of Lansing to conduct an operational needs analysis study of the police department to help “determine the most effective methods for providing law enforcement services based on the needs of the ... community,” according to village documents.

The study will focus on the department’s written policies and procedures, training, equipment and technology, supervision, personnel and labor allocation.

The cost will be no more than $15,000. There will be structured interviews of police department personnel and elected officials, among others.

The study is expected to take between five and seven weeks to complete.

The study comes as the village works to replace former Police Chief Steven Casstevens, who left to become the police chief of Buffalo Grove. Deputy Chief Ed Fetzer is serving as acting chief.

When the village will decide who will be Casstevens’ permanent replacement has yet to be determined.

Village President Mark Kownick said the outside analysis will include speaking with employees in the records office, officers and elected officials.

“With the transition to a potential new chief of police, we want to get a real good understanding of what’s going on in our department,” Kownick said.

The cost of the study itself wasn’t budgeted for, but there is money for professional consulting services. Village Administrator Chris Clark added the cost of the study will have to be paid for with other savings.

The study will look at what concerns exist at the patrol level and the command staff, and what expectations and goals exist for the department, Kownick said.

“We want to make sure we’re making the right decision, and we’re looking at all aspects of the department, to make sure it’s healthy,” Kownick said.

He said he was excited about the study.

“It’s going to bring a lot of credibility to our department. Things are going very well in the department,” Kownick said. “When you’re going to make a transition right now, you want to make sure you’re looking at everything.”

A few weeks ago, some board members pushed for having the police chief report directly the Village Board, rather than to the village administrator. Some trustees said it would allow for better communication from the police department and eliminate any filtering. That push was unsuccessful.

Kownick said this study was not a product of that discussion.

“I believe the police department should report directly to the village administrator because it streamlines it,” he said. “Chris Clark is in the office all day long. We all have outside jobs.”

“We have a very credible police department. ... The day-to-day questions of personnel, and budgetary, it all needs to be focused and streamlined to one person,” Kownick added.

Kownick did not put a timeline on naming a replacement for Casstevens.
“I’d like to do it sooner than later, but we’re going to do it in conjunction hopefully with the ... operational analysis,” Kownick said.

Kownick expects to hire a search firm to help with the chief selection.

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