Mundelein Deputy Police Chief Eric Guenther has been tapped to lead the department after longtime Chief Raymond J. Rose steps down later this month, officials announced Tuesday.
Mayor Kenneth H. Kessler recommended Guenther be promoted to top cop after a search process that whittled 34 applicants down to three finalists.
Of those three, Guenther was the only one now working in the department, Village Administrator John Lobaito said.
"Mr. Guenther's work experience, training and education and vision for the future of the police department set him apart from the other candidates," Lobaito said in an email to village staff that was shared with the Daily Herald.
Guenther, 40, of Grayslake, said he's honored to be selected.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to lead the department," he said.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Guenther joined the department in 1995 as a police officer and has worked his entire career here. He rose through the ranks, moving to investigator, sergeant and watch commander before being named deputy chief in 2009.
Six applicants were interviewed for the chief's job, Lobaito said. The process wrapped up early this month.
Guenther will take over as chief Feb. 1. Although he was quick to praise the work Rose has done with the department, Guenther also talked about the future and how technology and other factors are changing law enforcement.
"Ray Rose taught me that what was good enough yesterday isn't good enough tomorrow," Guenther said.
The village board will vote on Guenther's appointment when it next meets Jan. 28.
Rose, Mundelein's chief since 1992, announced his plans to retire from the department last fall.
He came to Mundelein from the Elk Grove Village Police Department, where he spent 24 years and worked up to deputy chief.
In Mundelein, Rose led a fight to eradicate gangs in the 1990s and helped launch several community and educational programs in town.
Rose has no doubt Guenther is the right cop for the job. In particular, he credited Guenther for taking advanced police and leadership courses with the FBI and Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety, among other agencies.
"He's worked to develop himself to be ready to step into this position," Rose said.