The Oak Park police department will have half a dozen newly minted police officers in early April, and two new deputy chiefs by the end of that month if all goes as planned.
According to Colleen Temesvari of the village's Human Resources department, staff are currently scheduling interviews with the Fire and Police Board for 55 officer candidates as results from physicals, personality assessments and preliminary background checks become available.
Candidates will be interviewed by Police Chief Rick Tanksley, Human Resources Director Frank Spataro, and the three person Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. That interview process began last week, and is scheduled to continue through this week
Tanksley, who had expressed some concern last December over being prepared to send recruits to the April police academy, said the interview process is going well, and that he's feeling confident about those prospects.
Things appear to be proceeding smoothly in the process to replace two retired deputy police chiefs, with 40 candidates having applied as of Tuesday, the final day for accepting applications.
"I'm very excited, very positive," Tanksley said Tuesday.
While he hasn't seen any break downs as far as the sex and racial characteristics of the applicants, Tanksley said he and other village management would be meeting with the hiring consultant later on Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss the applicants in greater detail.