Craig Rutz, File 2007

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After nearly 30 years as an employee in the River Forest Police Department — a long run that has included both distinguished service and contentious battles with now departed officials — Lieutenant Craig Rutz will officially step up to the position of deputy chief, effective July 1.

Rutz began working in the River Forest department in 1982, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1997. He has since held positions as both administrative and operational lieutenant, and worked as acting chief in 1998.

In his position as deputy chief, according to Police Chief Gregory Weiss, Rutz will run the day-to-day operations of the department and assist the chief in his decision-making. He will also participate in collective bargaining issues, and stand in for the chief, when necessary, among other duties.

“I thought it would be a good fit for him,” said Weiss, of the deputy chief position. “Some of my decision was because of his history here,” Weiss said, of Rutz’ 29-year tenure in River Forest. “Craig and I have always worked well together,” he added.

The appointment of a deputy chief is Weiss’ decision, but he said he ran it by the village board first. “I did present it to them, and they agreed with my decision,” Weiss said.

“Craig has a lot of experience. He’s a longtime village employee,” said Village Administrator Eric Palm. “I think he brings a lot to the table.”

Rutz also recently returned from Quantico, VA, where he completed the 10-week FBI National Academy, an intensive course for law enforcement professionals.

“I give him credit for going through it. It’s not an easy course,” Weiss said.

For more details on Rutz’ intriguing career on the River Forest police force pick up next week’s Wednesday Journal.

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