River Forest's deputy police chief to retire within a year

After 30 years with the department, Craig Rutz wants to spend more time with family

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

Craig Rutz, River Forest's deputy police chief who has been with the department for 30 years, will likely retire within the next year, he said last week.

Village Administrator Eric Palm announced Rutz's retirement at the July 9 village board meeting, saying he would leave in the first quarter of 2013.

When reached the next day, Rutz, 61, said it's not for lack of energy.

"I love my job — I would stay here forever if I could," he said.

Instead, he wants to spend more time with his family. Rutz said his daughter is a public defender working in Tampa, Fla., and he had a condo there that he has visited every six weeks or so for the last 12 years. He'll likely buy a new place there and move to be closer to his daughter.

Rutz is also a musician — he's been studying jazz guitar in downtown Chicago for years — and hopes to concentrate more on that.

He emphasized he has not yet officially announced his retirement, and that the department was doing nothing to push him out.

Rutz started at the police department in January 1982. He was one of the first officers Police Chief Greg Weiss encountered when Weiss joined the department five years later. At that time, Rutz was a field officer.

Now when Weiss makes decisions, he says it's helpful to him that Rutz often looks at matters from a different perspective.

"He complements my personality," Weiss said.

Rutz was promoted to lieutenant in 1997, with both administrative and operational duties in that role. He served as acting chief in 1998 and became the department's first crime prevention officer, serving as the local D.A.R.E. officer.

Rutz was in the running for police chief in the late 1990s, but a more experienced candidate, Michael Holub, was eventually hired. Then in 2003 and 2004, Rutz and two other officers filed age discrimination lawsuits against the village when Holub chose younger, less-experienced officers as his deputy chiefs. Rutz and the second officer reached a $500,000 settlement with the village in 2007.

Last July, then-lieutenant Rutz officially stepped up to become deputy chief.

The rules of the village's Board of Fire and Police Commissioners say Rutz's successor must be appointed from within, Weiss said.

Reader Comments

8 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

jone smith  

Posted: August 27th, 2013 10:02 PM

Good riddens to you, may your life be spoiled like you have spoiled others.

Kathy Corcos RF Resident from River Forest  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 7:40 PM

Lt. Rutz: I have nothing but respect for you and the job you do. You were the first policeman we met when we moved here (when I had a question about bicycle registration). I've seen you at work in the Middle School. I've seen you take the high road and perform your duties with dignity when the department climate was more than challenging. I wish you well. Thank you for sticking it out in RF and for doing the job you do. All the best!

Greg Kuenster from River Forest  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 6:48 PM

P.S. I love you = Beatles I pay River Forest taxes. Look it up.

Greg Kuenster from Oak Park  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 6:45 PM

Thank you Mr. Rutz for your good years of service. I for one am more than happy to have contributed generously to your life after the police department. We are all in this together and I thank you. God Speed.

T.J.  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 3:36 PM

Like I said earlier, this guy milked the system. He won't be missed.

Roger French from Oak Park  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 12:00 PM

Other. inappropriate language. please think before posting

Other View  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 11:09 AM

T.J. from Oak Park - you are talking out you butt. This man spent 30 years defending your sorry ass and all you can do in return is complain about his pension, about which you obviouly know squat. His pension will be paid by the River Forest Police Pension, not by anypne in Oak Park. Stay on your side of Harlem and sort out your own problems.

T.J. from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 8:13 PM

Enjoy collecting millions in retirement! When will the people wise up? This guy milked the system.

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