Oak Park police may add two new positions

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

The Oak Park Police Department is considering adding two new positions, though they wouldn't be out patrolling the streets.

Oak Park placed ads for the new posts in the Jan. 5 edition of Wednesday Journal. Each could earn as much as $55,033 a year but would not be sworn officers of the department. Rather, they'd be focused on searching for grants and communicating with the community.

The "police budget coordinator" would put together and analyze the department's budget and search and apply for any state or federal grant opportunities, said Police Chief Rick Tanksley. Previously that work was spread among several officers.

"It's gotten to the point where we actually need someone to concentrate full time on this," he said.

The other position is labeled as "police community liaison coordinator." Duties would include developing and promoting ways for the community to interact with the police department, according to the job description.

Jan. 14 was the deadline to apply for the positions. Tanksley could not yet say how many applications were received as of Monday. He stressed the village won't fill the new posts if it's unhappy with the responses received.

Tanksley plans to shift around funds in his budget to pay for the $100,000 in new salaries, rather than increasing his expenditures.

Reached last week, Village Manager Tom Barwin said he supported creating the new positions because it will assure that the rest of the officers focus their efforts on fighting crime.

"Even though crime is down 12 percent in 2010, we want to stay on top of it," he said.

Reader Comments

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darlene b from chicago  

Posted: March 5th, 2011 6:22 PM

they should be on patrol outside on the street maybe the crime would go down but maybe the police are afraid to do that

Greg Kuenster from OP  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 1:08 PM

With all due respect Mr. Johnson, an "enhancment" will not respond to soneone breaking into your home. Yes, we have break ins. These new employment positions should not be sworn officers with police pension/benefits. The new jobs will be viewed by the police force as political. IMO The jobs should be under the Village Manager not the Police Chief. We have a problem with street assaults, street drug trade and theft of all descriptions. Ask around if anyone feels crime is abating. Thank You

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 12:54 PM

I encourage residents to watch re-plays of the 1/18/11 VOP Board meeting where the police chief presented an update on public safety initiatives and crime statistics. Additional grants (much like the significant grant which will add video surveillance along the CTA els), are important tools in combatting crime. The chief is also evaluating enhancements to community policing, including a south Oak Park satellite office in collaboration with our neighboring towns.


Posted: January 19th, 2011 12:22 PM

Do I have to say it again? Roosevelt Road needs a second beat cop, not someone sitting around an office or creating PR opportunities.

adele from oak park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 10:54 PM

I'd rather have them on the street

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