Former River Forest police chief Nicholas Weiss, who resigned last September amidst a roiling controversy over his management of the department, has a new job – interim chief in northwest suburban Gilberts (southwest of Elgin). Weiss, who was introduced to the Gilbert village board Tuesday night, will serve as interim chief until Oct. 11, at a salary of $1,260 per week.

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, which recommended Weiss for the interim position, is reportedly evaluating the 47 applications received. By agreement, Weiss will not be considered for the permanent position.

It turns out, however, that the once sleepy burg of Gilberts, (population 6,000 people, median household income of over $100,000, 94 percent white) itself has a pretty good controversy going on. In July, the new village board voted 4-3 to remove 30-year police veteran Mike Joswick as chief, with the village’s new President Rick Zirk casting the tie-breaker. Joswick, who was chief for 13 years, remains on the force in his civil service rank of lieutenant.

One local news article quoted residents wondering if the decision was based on politics rather than philosophical differences. Joswick reportedly supported former village president Tom Wajda’s unsuccessful campaign for re-election.

But others, including some board members and Zirk, said business owners and residents in the town had complained of aggressive code enforcement and rude police demeanor.

“It hurts economic development; it hurts development. That is a public relations issue that we are sensitive to,” said Zirk, who added that Joswick resisted moving to more of a community policing-oriented model.

Joswick has indicated to the press that he wants to put the whole thing behind him and looks forward to working with Weiss the next two months.

Join the discussion on social media!