Bender to serve as Wauconda's interim police chief

Wauconda Deputy Police Chief Thomas Bender is set to lead the department after Chief Patrick Yost steps down this week.

The village board on Tuesday is expected to name Bender, 49, the interim chief. Yost's tenure as chief ends Friday afternoon.

Bender downplayed the pending appointment in an interview, saying it's a traditional duty of the deputy chief to fill in when the chief is absent because of illness, vacation or retirement.

Bender has been Wauconda's deputy police chief since August 2013. He's spent his entire 24-year career with the department, starting as a patrol officer in 1991.

Trustee John Barbini said Bender has demonstrated an ability "to handle the role" of interim chief in his two years as the department's second-in-command.

Yost is retiring after 26 years as a cop in Wauconda. He announced plans to step down in late May.

Yost initially planned to retire in July but remained on the job longer as the search for a replacement began.

He was named chief in August 2013, replacing Douglas Larsson in a controversial push from Mayor Frank Bart.

A Northbrook company called GovHR USA is overseeing the search for Wauconda's next police chief.

Candidate interviews are expected to be held in October, and finalists could be chosen in early November, Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner said.

"We would hope to have the board take official action on hiring the preferred candidate at the second board meeting in November," Maxeiner said.

Bender said he has applied for the chief's job.

Tuesday's village board meeting is set for 7 p.m. at village hall.

Two other police department matters are on the agenda. The board is expected to retire the badge number of officer Eric Schultz, who died in 2014 after a seven-year battle with cancer. Trustees also will meet the department's newest officer, Jonathon Finze.

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