Fox Lake police squad to be run by Lake County deputy chief

As the village of Fox Lake continues to grapple with the fatal shooting of a police officer, an interim chief of police was sworn in Saturday afternoon.

Lake County sheriff's office Deputy Chief Michael Keller, 39, was named to the top post after the village board held a special meeting Friday "to bring stability, command and leadership" to the police department after Tuesday's slaying of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, village officials said in a news release. Scot Kurek, 40, a sergeant with the Lake County sheriff's office, will serve as interim deputy chief.

Former Chief Mike Behan retired Aug. 28, three days before Gliniewicz was killed.

Keller currently manages the county's Gang Task Force and oversees major case investigations.

"These officers have been working this week with very heavy hearts and I know that isn't easy. I commend them for maintaining their professionalism and their commitment to the people of Fox Lake during these very sad days," Keller said in the news release.

Meanwhile, leads kept flowing in Saturday as about 200 law enforcement officials continued to actively investigate the shooting and search for three men considered armed and dangerous, Lake County sheriff's spokesman Chris Covelli said.

"We are getting a lot of tips from the public, which is great," Covelli said, adding FBI officials are vetting the tips and passing them onto the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. Officers from the Lake County sheriff's office and the Illinois State Police also are actively involved in the manhunt, he said.

Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit said the village is grateful to the Lake County sheriff's office for offering Keller's and Kurek's services temporarily. He said village officials are "mindful of our obligation to provide our police officers with strong leadership so that the department can continue to function at an optimal level and provide critical services to our community even during this very difficult time."

Keller started his law enforcement career in 1997 as a police officer with the Round Lake Beach Police Department and joined the Lake County sheriff's office in 2001.

Keller and Kurek will keep their interim posts until the village appoints permanent leadership. That search is underway.

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