I was recently made aware that certain former members of the River Forest Police Department had written your newspaper to comment on the current civil litigation that has plagued the agency for the past several years. Being a former member of the River Forest Police Department, I would be interested in making the following observations for the sake of providing a different point of view.

I would hope that the current village administration does not fall prey to deciding the fate of currently appointed police officials by putting faith in letters to the editor of a local newspaper from former employees with an ax to grind. The village officials should base their decisions on the retention of appointed police personnel strictly on the merits of their performance and dedication to the village and the police department, not on the complaints of former employees who are no longer in a position of authority and had an interest in the current litigation. Admittedly, I have not read the previous newspaper articles on the current animosity that seems to permeate the police department, but since I retired over 10 years ago, I haven’t really been interested in the continuing rancor that obviously still exists there.

Two of the officers that the criticism is apparently directed towards are deputy chiefs Kendra Sullivan and Daniel Dhooghe. Both have acted in their respective appointed positions through more than one chief of police, as I understand it, and have successfully been retained in their current ranks. The fact that they can work with various village officials and different police administrations should speak to their competency and professionalism. To single them out for criticism in the newspapers because certain officers feel they should be appointed to those positions of authority is unprofessional and does a disservice to the village and the citizens of River Forest. I worked with both of the current deputy chiefs when they were patrol officers and found them to be smart, dedicated, law enforcement professionals who, in my opinion, deserve their current positions of authority.

Not everyone can be the chief of police, or even a deputy chief, on a small police agency that has a limited number of appointed positions available and little turnover of police personnel. I feel fortunate that, after leaving the department, I was able to focus my energies in a different direction as opposed to venting my frustrations and attempting to influence village policy by writing derogatory letters to a local newspaper about my experiences as a police officer in River Forest.

I was informed that a previous letter to this newspaper mentioned that it was time for the village to “clean house.” I wonder if that advice was also meant to apply to the police personnel who have forgotten their responsibility to the citizens of River Forest and have instead directed their energies towards prolonging a lawsuit against the village for perceived injustices.

Charles A. Schauer
Certified Latent Print Examiner, Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell (CEXC) Biometrics Laboratory
Baghdad, Iraq

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