by Cheryl Borrowdale
SUGAR GROVE—Interim police chief Ron Moser has been on the job for just a week, but he already has several goals in mind for the Sugar Grove Police Department.
Among them are doing more emergency management exercises within the department, as well as potentially creating a citizen volunteer program to help during emergencies.
Moser said other priorities include continuing training initiatives, which will include officers using the shooting range at the St. Charles Police Department for training exercises, as well as expanding citizens’ notification efforts through electronic means. The Sugar Grove Police Department will also potentially be looking at upgrading or replacing in-car video equipment, he said.
“The village has established action plans for the department, so I have those goals already,” Moser said. “I’m also trying to make a smooth transition for the next chief, and I want to have good internal communication with officers and staff and to foster good working relationships within the department and with allies, citizens and elected officials.”
Village President Sean Michels welcomed Moser to his new position on July 17, when he swore Moser in before the Village Board.
“The village is extremely glad to have Chief Moser on board,” Michels said. “The trustees and I feel that he will be a perfect fit in this interim period as we work toward a plan for the future and work through the hiring process.”
Michels praised Moser’s long career in law enforcement, which he has worked in since 1977, noting that he has outstanding credentials and a thorough knowledge of disaster planning. He started his career as a patrol officer in the Rock Island Police Department, and after stints in Peoria and San Jose, Calif., he moved to Ottumwa, Iowa, where he served as police chief. Moser came to Hanover Park, Ill., in 1998, where he was police chief for 11 years. He then served as the village’s manager for three years, until his retirement on June 14, 2012.
“Chief Moser will be an integral part of the day-to-day Police Department operations and aid us in determining what will be required of a departmental leader. We urge everyone to welcome Chief Moser to our community,” Michels said.
Though Moser lives in Hanover Park, he said he is familiarizing himself with Sugar Grove.
“As a community, my first impression is that this is a nice place to live,” he said. “The elected officials have been very pleasant and welcoming, and the officers show a real willingness to work with me.”
Moser said he expects to serve as the interim chief for up to a year, as the village begins searching for a permanent replacement for Brad Sauer, who retired on June 28 after serving as Sugar Grove’s police chief for a decade and working in the department for 24 years.
Pat Doyle, secretary for the Sugar Grove Police Department, credited Sauer with overseeing a dramatic expansion of the department, which went from six officers to 18, during his tenure as chief.
“We hired more police officers, purchased more cars, upgraded our computer system, and converted the garage to the officers’ squad room,” Doyle said. “He really increased the staff and modernized things.”
The search for a permanent replacement for Sauer hasn’t begun yet, Doyle said, because of the upcoming village election in April.
“They’re going to wait until the next election’s over,” she said. “It depends on who’s elected village president.”
Throughout both the election and the replacement process, Moser said that his goal is to keep the Sugar Grove Police Department on a steady path.
“My main departmental focus will be to maintain stability and continuity in police operations to help ensure that, when a chief is selected, there will be a seamless transition,” he said.