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posted: 3/19/2014 1:01 AM

Lake Zurich village board approves new police chief

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  • Steven Husak

      Steven Husak

 
 

Lake Zurich Mayor Thomas Poynton says the new police chief's attention to detail was a major factor in him landing the job.

Poynton's recommendation to hire Buffalo Grove Deputy Police Chief Steven Husak was confirmed by a 6-0 village board vote Monday night. Husak will be sworn in at the board's April 7 meeting.

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Husak was selected from a nationwide search that attracted 100 qualified candidates to replace Lake Zurich Police Chief Patrick Finlon, who retired late last year. Deputy Chief Kevin Finlon has led the department since his brother retired in November.

At Monday's meeting, Poynton said Husak elevated himself above the competition by providing a detailed 90-day action plan on what he'd do if he were selected as Lake Zurich's top cop.

"He was the only candidate to do so," Poynton said.

Outside the village board meeting room, Husak outlined a portion of his plan for the Daily Herald. He said he intends to start by meeting with police employees and elected officials to receive feedback on what they consider department priorities.

He said he'll want the employees to tell him what's going well at the department and what could be improved. A measured assessment of how polices and procedures are working will be part of his process.

In addition, Husak intends to meet area police chiefs, local school officials and the business community, all while getting a handle on how the Lake Zurich department operates. He said he wants to hear opinions from outside the department.

"I'm big into community caretaking, customer service, and so if the public or certain groups -- whether it be chamber of commerce, Ela Area Coalition or any of those -- have ideas on things they would like to see the police department do or why they do certain things, I certainly would like to get that feedback," said Husak, 47.

Husak will head a police department that has 34 sworn cops and 14 civilian employees. Lake Zurich's current police budget is $8.1 million.

After visiting Lake Zurich for Monday night's vote to ratify his selection as top cop, he went to Buffalo Grove where the village board honored him for his 25-year career there. He worked his way from patrol officer to deputy chief.

Husak served a stint as Buffalo Grove's interim police chief after Steve Balinski's retirement in 2013. He returned to his deputy chief post, which he's had since 2011, after Steven Casstevens left Cary to become Buffalo Grove's top cop.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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