David Walz named new Island Lake deputy police chief

Island Lake police Sgt. David Walz is the department's new deputy chief, Chief Don Bero announced.

Walz's promotion - effective noon Friday - came one day after the village board voted to create the deputy chief position in the department.

Bero doesn't think the department has ever had a deputy chief.

The position is needed because the department is growing, Bero said. The village has 13 officers, and two more potential officers are at the police academy now, he said.

Having a deputy chief also establishes "a clear chain of command," Bero said.

Walz, 52, has been with the department for 25 years. He started his law enforcement career in Mount Prospect.

Walz has served as sergeant for less than two years.

Bero said Walz's "experience, education and knowledge" make him the right choice for the post.

In a Daily Herald interview, Walz said he was thrilled about the promotion. He thanked Mayor Charles Amrich and other village officials for their work.

"I just want to do everything I can to move the village forward in a good way," he said.

The ordinance approved Thursday gives Bero power to name a deputy chief without going to the village board for confirmation.

Trustee Thea Morris cast the lone "no" vote Thursday, raising concerns about a lack of oversight.

Village attorney David McArdle said some village boards vote on deputy-chief hirings while others do not.

Walz and the department's other two sergeants are the subject of a village investigation.

Last month, McArdle said he believed none of the three sergeants were appointed to their posts by the fire and police commission, as required by law.

McArdle recommended Walz and sergeants Nick Deuter and Garrett Schmoeller be stripped of their rank, and for the local fire and police commission to fill the jobs with eligible candidates.

The inquiry was started by the fire and police commission. The investigation has nothing to do with the sergeants' job performance, officials said at the time.

The village board hasn't taken action on the matter.

The inquiry doesn't affect Walz's promotion, Bero said. State law allows any office with enough experience to be promoted to deputy chief, he said.

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