The good news is that crime is low in River Forest. The wonderment in that is just how screwed up the village’s police department truly is, according to a newly released report by a pair of consultants.

The good news is that the patrol officers, the most junior staff in the department, are going about their business professionally and, in self surveys, believe they’re doing good work. What’s astonishing is that solid police work seems to be occurring at the street level even as the senior staff in this warped department continue in the grudge match of all time.

The 20-page consultants’ report is one of the oddest assessments we’ve ever read. The kid street cops are doing fine, says the report. It is just that they are working without any supervision from the 10 alleged grown-ups in the cop shop.

The three members of the command staff-a chief and two deputies-are seemingly invisible clock-watchers. The report says they are never seen after their 9-5 shifts, seldom make their way from their second-floor offices to the basement where the real police department works, have never shown up for a midnight shift roll call.

The seven-member supervisory contingent-a lieutenant and six sergeants-don’t talk to the command staff, and regularly badmouth the command staff to the patrol officers.

The result is a department where we have deputy chiefs filing claims that they are being harassed by their subordinates; supervisors surveyed and interviewed having not a single positive comment to make about the command staff. Finally we have patrol officers asking for a “more structured and consistent disciplinary process.”

Who is running this place?

Most immediately it is the police chief, Nicholas Weiss. And clearly he has to go. With strong echoes of another consultant in another town where Weiss was chief a decade ago, this man has no communication skills and little evidence of leadership skills.

But getting rid of the chief is the easy part.

A new chief will be left with two poorly regarded and damaged deputy chiefs. Kendra Sullivan and Dan Dhooghe have been sources of controversy since their promotions to deputy chief before Weiss arrived. They also have to go. Whether they retire or are demoted back to their permanent rank of sergeant, this department has no way forward without an entirely new command structure.

Any new chief will also have to regain authority with the supervisors. This unruly group has been undermining an admittedly failing command staff for years. It has to stop.

Neither the village board nor village administrator is off the hook here. The board’s police committee didn’t meet for seven years until the most recent election. Village Administrator Steven Gutierrez failed utterly in dealing with a flurry of internal harassment complaints which landed and then sat for up to a year on his desk.

Outside of the rank and file officers, this department has an atmosphere which is poison. Egos and end games have become the norm. It is past time for this to end.

That’s some cheese shop

Worries that Oak Park doesn’t attract notable retail investment, that locals are being muscled by national chains ought go by the board with this week’s relaunch of the Marion Street Cheese Market.

Wow. This new café, market, destination is jaw-dropping in its size, ambition and liveably lush execution. Kudos to Eric Larson and his local partners. Marion and South. Be there.

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