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updated: 7/25/2012 4:05 PM

Grayslake honors acting police chief, new top cop starts Monday

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  • Jack McKeever

    Jack McKeever


Jack McKeever has received recognition from Grayslake's elected officials for temporarily leading the police department after the chief was charged with causing an alcohol-related crash in Wisconsin.

Mayor Rhett Taylor selected McKeever as acting chief in early April after Matthew McCutcheon was placed on paid administrative leave. McKeever was Lindenhurst's police chief when he retired in 2011 to presumably end a 40-year law enforcement career.

At a village board meeting last week, Taylor presented a plaque honoring McKeever for his brief service to Grayslake as acting police chief. Taylor said McKeever helped the village "in our time of need."

McKeever said his decision to work as Grayslake's acting chief was the continued fulfillment of the oath he took more than 40 years ago when he became a Highland Park patrol officer. He said the Grayslake department needed healing and appears to have done so since McCutcheon's arrest.

"As I look back over the last 3 months, as expected, the job was not always pleasant," said McKeever, who holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and master's degrees in public administration and theology. "And to be blunt, sometimes there were tears."

Phillip Perlini, 51, is set to start as Grayslake's police chief Monday. It's a step up the career ladder for Glenview's deputy police chief, who launched his law-enforcement career more than 32 years ago.

McKeever told the village board that Perlini "is a very good choice" for Grayslake, which is contracted to police neighboring Hainesville.

"I've had a number of meetings with (Perlini) already and he is ready to go," McKeever said. "And he will, however, need your support -- all of you people in the village."

As for McCutcheon, Kenosha County sheriff's police said the 46-year-old Fox Lake resident was arrested about 9:45 p.m. March 30 after the car he was driving crashed into a vehicle while making a turn near Silver Lake, Wis. He was charged with being armed while intoxicated and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

McCutcheon was on paid administrative leave from April 6 until his resignation became effective July 1. He was among an initial field of about a dozen police chief candidates identified by a consultant before he was appointed Feb. 7.

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