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updated: 10/28/2010 6:19 PM

Chief's abrupt retirement doesn't halt Prospect Heights police layoff talks

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  • Prospect Village Police Chief Bruce Morris waits for the village board to come out a closed session that includes discussing possible police layoffs. The Mayor Dolly Vole announced that they will reveal the results of the closed session at a later date.

      Prospect Village Police Chief Bruce Morris waits for the village board to come out a closed session that includes discussing possible police layoffs. The Mayor Dolly Vole announced that they will reveal the results of the closed session at a later date.
    Mark Black

 
 

A day after longtime police chief Bruce Morris' sudden resignation, discussions continued in Prospect Heights on Thursday regarding possible layoffs of up to six officers on the force.

Metropolitan Alliance of Police union attorney Jerry Marzullo said he met with Village Manager Anne Marrin about potential layoffs, but declined to detail the nature of the discussion.

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"At this point today, there are no layoffs," Marzullo said. "Both sides are discussing the matter."

Marzullo said he also met with officers Thursday.

Discussions on a possible reduction in the department's 22-person force have been ongoing since an arbitrator ruled last week that the city violated the police collective bargaining agreement in July 2009 when it issued furlough days for all city employees.

The city council met in closed session Monday, but no decision on layoffs was made.

Morris, who wasn't part of the closed session, announced his retirement Wednesday afternoon in an e-mail to Marrin.

"I hereby retire as Chief of Police and as Police Officer for the city of Prospect Heights," his statement reads. "As you know, I have a significant amount of vacation, sick and other time and I am amenable to stay on the payroll until the accrued time is exhausted, or I am willing to discuss a quicker payout."

Morris spent 12 years as chief, and was one of the department's original 17 members when it was formed in 1990. He also served in a dual role as city administrator from 2000 to 2002.

The city issued a statement Thursday thanking Morris for his service and wishing him a happy retirement.

Morris did not return a call seeking comment Thursday, but on Wednesday he told the Daily Herald he was retiring since "it just seems like a good thing to do."

As of now, day-to-day operations of the police department are being overseen by Cmdr. Eric Lundt, until Cmdr. Al Steffen returns from vacation, said Margie Bolger, the police department's records supervisor.

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