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posted: 4/2/2013 5:47 PM

Carpentersville police chief to also lead fire department

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Alan Popp, Carpentersville's police chief for slightly more than a year, has been tapped to become the village's new public safety director.

He will oversee both the village police and fire departments in his new role.

"He's done a great job in his first year as police chief, he has all the qualifications to make the public safety director's job work," Village President Ed Ritter said. "And I am quite confident that he will be evenly dividing his time between police and fire and benefit both services with his expertise."

Popp, who has been running Carpentersville's police department since March 2012, now makes $120,000 a year. The board has not yet discussed whether he will receive a raise, Ritter said.

Still, the move is expected to save a significant amount of money, even if the board decides to boost Popp's pay.

When Fire Chief John Schuldt retired earlier this year, his total compensation was about $178,000, which included his $129,509 salary. Schuldt, who led the department since 1996 after joining it as a firefighter in 1980, retired in February after spending 11 days on paid administrative leave. Officials will not say what prompted them to put him on leave and Schuldt has said he retired on his own accord.

Rather than hiring someone to replace Schuldt, Popp will take over Schuldt's job and continue to run the police department.

"(Schuldt's retirement) prompted us to look at our structure and it was obvious that we needed to do some studying about how the fire department was performing and also whether or not a public service person would work," Ritter said.

About a week or two after Schuldt retired, the village hired Voorhees Associates to conduct a study to see whether the public safety model fit with Carpentersville, Ritter said. While the village also was interested in saving money, that didn't necessarily drive the decision, Ritter said.

"If we didn't think that it would be a proper administrative structure and that there would be any chance that we wouldn't be as productive as we can be, we wouldn't do it, so the decision wasn't just a money decision," Ritter said.

In the end, the consultants not only concluded that the model suited Carpentersville, but that Popp's leadership and management skills made him the ideal candidate, according to a news release. The village received the results of the study on Monday.

Ritter said no other people applied for the job and the village considered Popp for the post right away.

Popp, whose new job is effective April 16, could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

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