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updated: 3/14/2014 5:07 AM

Sleepy Hollow police chief says shooting took toll on department

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  • Erdenebileg Sambuunyam

      Erdenebileg Sambuunyam

  • Sleepy Hollow police block the intersection of Hemlock Drive at Maple Lane as they investigate a fatal police shooting Sunday at the end of the Maple Lane cul-de-sac.

       Sleepy Hollow police block the intersection of Hemlock Drive at Maple Lane as they investigate a fatal police shooting Sunday at the end of the Maple Lane cul-de-sac.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Sleepy Hollow Police Chief James Linane told the Daily Herald Thursday how his department is coping with the weekend shooting involving two officers.

       Sleepy Hollow Police Chief James Linane told the Daily Herald Thursday how his department is coping with the weekend shooting involving two officers.
    Lenore Adkins | Staff Photographer

 
 

Anytime a police officer is involved in a fatal shooting, it takes a toll on the entire police department, Sleepy Hollow Police Chief James Linane said.

Linane spoke with the Daily Herald Thursday about how his officers are coping in the aftermath of the officer-involved fatal shooting last Sunday -- a first for the village of 3,500 residents.

The department has 12 officers, two of whom have been placed on paid leave since the fatal shooting of Erdenebileg Sambuunyam, 40, of Buffalo Grove.

"It does put a strain on us because it reduces our available manpower," Linane said. "My officers are putting in extra hours to cover the shifts."

The emotional strain also is considerable, he added.

The two officers who were involved in the shooting are undergoing counseling, which is being offered to their family members as well.

It's also a learning experience for the whole department, said Linane, who has been through a similar officer-involved shooting in his previous capacity as deputy chief with the Carol Stream Police Department.

"No law enforcement officer wants to be in this situation. No chief wants to be in this situation," Linane said. "But everybody takes note. Everybody learns from everybody else's experience as much as possible."

Just last December Sleepy Hollow officers went through their first "use of force" training, and are state certified to use all weapons.

"They are all qualified on their weapons once a year," Linane said.

Yet, Sleepy Hollow officers do not carry stun guns used by many police departments for stunning suspects -- something that may need to be taken into consideration in the future, Linane said.

"I know some departments' officers do carry Tasers, but many don't," Linane said. "It's more of a department by department decision ... and it would be based on research."

Illinois State Police's investigation into whether the two Sleepy Hollow police officers were justified in their use of force is ongoing.

Sambuunyam was shot shortly before noon Sunday after he brandished a knife and attempted to cut the two officers outside a home on the 1800 block of Maple Lane near Hemlock Drive, police said.

He was pronounced dead at 12:38 p.m. Sunday at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. An autopsy was conducted Wednesday, but a cause of death determination and toxicology results are pending, coroner's office officials said Thursday.

Linane said though he has spoken with all his officers about the shooting, there has not been any critique of how the situation was handled.

"We're not in a position to really do that at this point," he said. "My officers, in this situation, were doing their jobs. How well they did it, we'll let the state police do their investigation and get back to us on what their findings are."

Sleepy Hollow police have declined to release further details about why Sambuunyam was at the residence and what his relationship was with the two people injured during the domestic disturbance. Linane said he did not know the condition of the two victims.

State police is conducting much of the investigation, including interviewing witnesses, he added.

"They are doing a thorough job and we have been in touch with them and (are) cooperating with their investigation," he said. "We eagerly await their results and the final disposition on this."

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