East Dundee has appointed an interim police chief to serve as more than just a placeholder.
In addition to managing daily operations, George Carpenter will be tasked with conducting an assessment of the department, providing recommendations for improvement and assisting in the selection of a new permanent chief.
Carpenter, a former police chief in Wilmette, was sworn in this week after the village board approved a four-month agreement with staffing firm GovTemps USA. The chief position was vacated earlier this month by Terry Mee, who retired after 11 years.
"Chief Mee's retirement opened a door to re-look at the department," Village Administrator Jennifer Johnsen said. "We always want to ... constantly evaluate and find out, what are our strengths, how can we improve and how can we grow?"
Carpenter will be paid $70 an hour -- $2,800 for a 40-hour workweek -- and will have access to the village's chief vehicle, according to the agreement. The deal, which ends May 25 but could be extended until Sept. 21, also allows officials to consider raising his compensation to $77 per hour May 1.
Carpenter's analysis of the department won't be limited to any particular area, Johnsen said, noting he could evaluate policies, staff experience, finances or other practices.
The assessment is expected to be completed in about three months, at which point the village will begin searching for a permanent replacement, she said. Carpenter's recommendations will likely be used to recruit the next chief.
"We know the information he's going to give us is going to tell us in what direction we need to go," Johnsen said. "The goal would be to try to enhance services and our employees at the same time."