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LeClercq expects to name new police chief soon : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
LeClercq expects to name new police chief soon
Oswego Village Board committee, police professionals interview applicants

by John Etheredge


Oswego Village President Brian LeClercq said he expects to appoint a new village police chief during the village board's next meeting on Tuesday, July 15.

Under state law, LeClercq's appointment is subject to a positive vote by the village board.

The chief's position will become vacant later this year when current Chief Dwight Baird is sworn-in as Kendall County Sheriff in December.

Baird won a three-way race for the Republican Party's nomination for sheriff in the March party primary election. Baird will run unopposed for a four-year term as sheriff in the November general election.

He will succeed Richard Randall who chose not to seek re-election to a sixth term as sheriff.

Baird was appointed village police chief by then Village President Craig Weber in April 2003. The village board supported Weber's appointment in a unanimous ballot.

LeClercq, along with a village board committee and some outside law enforcement professionals conducted interviews with three applicants for the chief's position on Saturday at village hall.

The village hired a consulting firm at a cost of $2,000 to arrange to have the outside law enforcement professionals participate in the interviews with the chief applicants.

The interviews were conducted behind closed doors as permitted under the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

LeClercq declined to identify the three applicants, but confirmed they are all current members of the village police department.

He announced during a village board meeting April 28 that he plans to appoint one of the department's current officers to the chief's position.

LeClercq noted the police department is one of a select few to earn national accreditation through CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies. In addition to the accreditation, LeClercq noted the department also won CALEA's excellence award in 2012. The award is given to law enforcement agencies that serve as a "model for the delivery of enhanced public safety services and management professionalism."

Referring to the police department, LeClercq asked, "What kind of message would that send if we went outside for a new chief when we have a department that is CALEA certified with an excellence rating? When you are given credentials in the top one percent in the nation by a nationally accredited firm that's an indication you have real good police department."

In earning CALEA certification, LeClercq said the department has "clearly met some huge, huge standards."

LeClercq said he expects the board committee will soon present him with a recommendation for the new chief. He said that recommendation will be based in part on the results of last Saturday's interviews, testing of the applicants and feedback from the consultants.

"I will look at their recommendation and I will interview the candidate to kind of vet (him) one more time (before the July 15) board meeting, I look forward to bringing a candidate to our second meeting in July," LeClercq said.

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