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updated: 8/23/2012 6:03 PM

Another top Des Plaines cop retires; more changes in ranks

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  • Angela Burton

      Angela Burton

 
 

Des Plaines is losing another top cop with the retirement of Deputy Police Chief Angela Burton Thursday after serving 24 years with the department.

Burton was hired by Des Plaines as a patrol officer in 1988 and rose up the ranks to become a detective in the criminal investigation division/youth bureau in 1995. She became a patrol sergeant in 1998.

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Burton, 53, has served as deputy chief for 11 years. She was appointed by former police chief Jim Ryan.

She was instrumental in the implementation of the city's Red Light Photo Enforcement Program.

Burton said Thursday she had thought about retiring last year and that it was now time with management changes within the department. She added incoming police chief, William Kushner, should have the opportunity to select his own management team.

Burton said she plans to take the rest of the year off to relax and travel with her husband and friends. She said she would review her future options in January.

City Manager Mike Bartholomew said though he worked with Burton for only a short while, "I certainly developed a great deal of respect for her and her career.

"To rise to the level of deputy chief is certainly an accomplishment for anyone, but especially for a woman in a male-dominated (profession) is particularly commendable," he said.

Bartholomew said filling the now vacant deputy chief position will be one of Kushner's top priorities after he is sworn in at the Sept. 4 city council meeting.

Acting Police Chief Mike Kozak will resume his role as deputy chief after Kushner takes the helm.

Des Plaines hired Kushner away from Lakemoor Police Department where he has served as police chief since 2010. A 35-year law enforcement veteran, Kushner, 59, was selected after a nationwide search following the retirement of Police Chief James Prandini in December.

The police department has undergone significant changes in management and among the ranks, including the sudden retirement last fall of Deputy Chief Rich Roskuszka, who has filed a lawsuit against the city alleging he was forced out and the department covered up police brutality.

Prandini retired a few months after Roskuszka, and Cmdr. Tim Veit retired in April.

City officials also fired an officer earlier this year and disciplined another cop over allegations of using excessive force. The fired cop, John Bueno, is trying to get his job back and has filed a complaint of racial discrimination against the city.

Meanwhile, an internal investigation is under way into whether the police department over-reported DUI arrests made during patrols for a traffic safety program funded through a federal grant. The program was administered by Veit.

As a result of departures, several police promotions were handed out this week. Veteran police officers Michael Holdman and Louis Wittmer were appointed to the post of commander, and veteran officer Scott Moreth was promoted to sergeant.

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