Tag Archives: Chuck Slater

Officials praise new chief for first month on job

Acosta making improvements to department
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park’s new police chief, Michael Acosta, spent much of his time during his first month of employment making initial improvements to help him do his job.

“There are a lot of things the Police Department is behind on,” Acosta told the Village Board Tuesday.

Acosta said the department did not have basic fingerprinting equipment.

“They (previous Maple Park Police Department leaders) were under the assumption that the county would do fingerprinting (if needed),” Acosta said.

Nor did the department have a police interview room, which Acosta is going to establish.

Acosta already has prepared a “very thorough budget” of proposals for the Police Department, Village President Kathy Curtis said.

“I am impressed,” Curtis said.

Acosta and his officers also have cleaned out the community room to prepare for events such as resident forums, officers reading with children, and puppet shows to foster a positive image of police.

Since taking office Jan. 6, Acosta also has spent many afternoons driving through town, stopping to talk to local business owners and residents to encourage them to feel free to talk with him about any concerns they might have.

In the future, he will have more time to patrol, he said.

“Right now I am doing other things, like pulling out carpet and throwing things away,” Acosta said.

Trustee Mark Delaney said it is apparent that Acosta also is beginning to improve policing in the village.

“It’s nice to see the officers near the bus stops and stop signs early in the morning … it’s a nice change,” Delaney said.

Acosta worked with the Kane County Sheriff’s Department for more than 30 years, serving as Commander of Administration, and Commander of Kane County Major Crimes Task Force.

Before hiring Acosta, Maple Park had not had an officer in charge since officer Chuck Slater’s resignation in September.

No officer in charge while chief sought

Village also plans to hire five more part-time police
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park officials soon will interview police chief candidates, and hope to fill the long-vacant position by early December. Meantime, the Police Department is operating without an officer in charge, following Officer Chuck Slater’s resignation in September.

The village has received 11 applications for the full-time police chief position, which will pay an annual salary of no more than $48,800.

“We don’t have any flexibility on the salary amount,” Village Personnel Committee Chairman Debra Armstrong said. “We don’t have the financial resources.”

The position also offers a $600 medical stipend per month.

Police chief candidates must have seven years of full-time experience in law enforcement, with at least three years in a supervisory position.

The deadline for police chief applications is Friday, Oct. 9, after which the personnel committee will review the candidates’ qualifications and recommend approximately five people for the Village Board to interview. The village also will conduct background checks of the candidates and require them to have drug screenings.

Maple Park has been without a police chief since June 2008, when village officials decided against renewing former Chief Steve Yahnke’s contract.

In addition to hiring a new police chief, the village of Maple Park plans to employ up to four more part-time officers.

Currently, the village Police Department has five part-time officers. With that staffing, the Police Department can only provide law enforcement in Maple Park for about eight hours per each 24-hour day. Village officials want to improve that situation by adding officers.

“We want to make sure all shifts are covered,” Armstrong said.

The Personnel Committee recently interviewed four candidates for police officer, but discontinued interviewing this week.

“We decided to wait until the police chief is hired and let him hire his team,” Armstrong said.

The hours that the Police Department currently covers depend upon what is going on in the village, but patrolling the streets during busy traffic hours and maintaining safety at school bus stops are priorities, Armstrong said.

During times when Maple Park police are not on duty, the Kane County Sherrif’s Department responds to emergencies in the village.

Police officer candidates must have three years of law enforcement experience. The wage for a part-time police officer is $16.50 per hour.

Lead MP officer said he resigned at board’s request

MAPLE PARK—Former Maple Park Police Officer Chuck Slater said Wednesday he resigned from the Police Department in early September at the Village Board’s request.

He said the board did not give him a reason for wanting him to leave the department, where he had been officer in charge for the past 16 months.

Village Personnel Committee Chairman Debra Armstrong would not disclose whether or not the board asked Slater to resign, since the issue is personnel related.

“All that I can say is that he submitted his resignation, and we accepted it,” Armstrong said.

While the Police Department does not have an officer in charge, Armstrong said she has that role.

Slater worked for the Maple Park Police Department for 6-1/2 years, he said.

The village of Maple Park did not make a public announcement about Slater’s resignation.

Former Maple Park Village President Ross Deuringer said he believes Slater was a valuable employee.

“I don’t know why he was fired,” Deuringer said.

Staffing woes continue for MP police

by Lynn Meredith

Maple Park is once again searching for police officers to staff its department.

The village hired three part-time officers in August. Police Committee Chairman Erl Pederson announced at Tuesday’s Village Board meeting that one of those officers resigned and another will do so in the next 60 days.

Sergio Fuentes resigned on Tuesday after having been promoted to Sergeant in the Earlville Police Department. An increased workload and time commitments conflict with the hours he works for Maple Park.

Trustee Terry Borg is concerned that the village is losing officers so frequently.

“There doesn’t seem to be a strategy with the Police Department. It seems to be a revolving door,” Borg said. “Are we doing something different this time than last time, given that we just went through this?”

The Police Committee would need to run background checks on new candidates, and even though the cost is minimal, it takes time and effort.

“We go through a certain amount of grief in this process,” Village President Ross Dueringer said. “I can understand some hesitation, but we still need somebody to fill the hole.”

Dueringer suggested that the committee get a pool of police officer candidates to choose from when vacancies arise.

Three officers have completed the 90-day probation period, but the board voted to extend the probationary period for another 30 days to allow time for Police Department head Chuck Slater to write a report on how each officer has met expectations.

At the Feb. 3 meeting, the Village Board will take action either to extend probation, terminate employment or bring the officers on non-probationary status.