George Filenko to retire as Lake County Major Crimes Task Force commander

Filenko led Fox Lake police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz's death investigation

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko plans to retire from the position he has held for the past six years.

Filenko will retire April 1 after 11 years with the task force, Lake County Sheriff’s Detective Christopher Covelli announced Wednesday.

Filenko spent three years as an investigator and two as an assistant task force commander before taking the top position six years ago.

Filenko was thrust into the national spotlight while he served as the face of the investigation into the shooting death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, which was later ruled to be a suicide.

Vernon Hills Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer, who serves as chairman of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Board, praised Filenko for taking the task force to a new level of professionalism.

He said Filenko has shaped the way the task force handles homicides, officer-involved shootings and in-custody death investigations.

“I’m extremely proud of the extreme dedication, professionalism, integrity and hard work of George during his tenure; there’s no doubt he will be missed as commander of the task force,” Fleischhauer said in the statement.

Filenko has been involved in more than 200 homicide investigations, officials said.

“Throughout the past 11 years, George has given up vacations, anniversaries, birthdays and many other special occasions,” Fleischhauer said. “Not to mention the fact George has contributed thousands of hours of unpaid time working cases for the citizens of Lake County. I’m very happy for George. He can finally spend some well-deserved time with his family and have some relaxation.”

Covelli said Filenko will continue to serve as the chief of police in Round Lake Park. He has been with the department since 1995 and chief since 2006.

Filenko will remain on the task force in an advisory capacity. Zion Detective Kyle Helgesen will serve as acting commander while the board selects a new commander.

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