Three up-and-coming leaders in various fields of law enforcement have been selected by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police as the "Rising Shields of Law Enforcement" for their leadership in advancing the field.
Sgt. Scott Eisenmenger of the Buffalo Grove Police Department, Corrections Officer Dante Brown of the Lake County Sheriff's Office, and Master Sgt. Margaret McGreal of the Illinois State Police Chicago District Chicago were selected from 19 nominees.
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The awards will be presented June 21 at the group's Summer Training Conference at the Tinley Park Convention Center.
"This group represents the type of leadership and initiative that we seek among progressive law enforcement leaders in Illinois," said Downers Grove Police Chief Robert Porter, the group's president. The Rising Shields awards encourage outstanding leaders under the age of 45 and below the deputy chief or lieutenant levels to continue to grow in the profession.
Eisenmenger, who was selected in the medium-sized department category, began his career with the 65-employee department in 1995. Described by Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steven Casstevens as a "go-getter" who is looked up to by his peers, Eisenmenger is credited with reformatting the training program, improving employee morale, and helping calm community fears after a school shooting in another state.
He is also involved with the agency's homeland security and emergency management programs. His emergency management skills were demonstrated last year when severe weather caused the evacuation and emergency sheltering of thousands of festivalgoers.
"Law enforcement is an honorable profession that demands the highest levels of integrity and commitment," Eisenmenger said. "It has undergone much change over the years. Domestic terrorism is a real threat and police are on the front lines," he added.
Brown, the honoree in the large department category, grew up in a neighborhood infected by gangs and drugs. While he doesn't police neighborhoods, he has sought anti-gang training, often on his own time, and he visits community centers, schools and places of worship to help community members fight gangs.
"The public safety and community service programs he is doing are a great start for getting information out to the communities," said Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran. "Officer Brown realized he could not make the changes he wanted by himself. He spoke with fellow officers to have them volunteer their time and experience with community programs. What started out with five officers now has over 30, with the majority recruited by Officer Brown."
McGreal, nominated in the state agency category, believes that diversity, technology and training are keys to advancing law enforcement, according to District Chicago State Police Captain Luis Guitierrez. She has been District Chicago Field Training Coordinator since 2009.
"She challenges officers to seek additional training certifications and temporary duty assignments to broaden their skills and knowledge," Guitierrez said, adding that she is committed to developing quality female officers to serve as future leaders of the department.
For more information, go to ilchiefs.org.