Buffalo Grove hires firm to search for new police chief

Updated 12/26/2012 2:43 PM
  • Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steve Balinski speaks during a village board meeting. Balinski will retire April 2.

    Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steve Balinski speaks during a village board meeting. Balinski will retire April 2. Daily Herald June 2009

Buffalo Grove has hired Voorhees Associates LLC to conduct a search for a new police chief following the announcement last week that Steve Balinski will retire April 2.

The village board has approved an agreement for provide professional recruitment services in an amount not to exceed $22,400.

Village officials praised Balinski, a 36-year veteran of the force who has been chief almost 10 years, at last week's board meeting.

"You have been a great asset to the village for a long, long time," village President Jeffrey Braiman told him. "When you became chief, I know, one of the things we wanted to know is whether or not you were going to stick around for a while. I think at that time (you) told us five years, and we have gotten the benefit of 10 years. So we're thankful for that."

He said the chief, known affectionately as Bo, has been not only an asset to the village, but also a friend to everyone on the board.

Village Manager Dane Bragg talked at the meeting about what it was like to work with Balinski.

"From our daily interactions in running the village to our mutual support of the efforts of Rotary, as well as our mutual friends along the way, I have found him to be forthright and supportive, a solid leader and a genuinely good person to be around," he said.

And Bragg talked about how it can be hard to decide when the time is right to leave.

"This has been undoubtedly a challenging decision for the chief, and I, for one, have had the opportunity to discuss and debate with him over the last couple of years as he has made this decision," Bragg said.

Balinski, who succeeded Leo McCann as chief in 2003, was hired to the force after graduating from Western Illinois University with a bachelor of science degree in law enforcement administration. He has a master's in public administration from Northern Illinois University and is a graduate of the Police Staff and Command School and the Executive Leadership Program at Northwestern University.

Balinski is a past president of the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association and the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory.

Balinski is also the past president of the Buffalo Grove Rotary Club, served as group leader for Special Olympics Illinois for more than 20 years and is an adjunct professor for North East Multi-Regional Training.

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