Police chiefs: Fox Lake officer's wrongs shouldn't reflect on all

Updated 11/4/2015 4:46 PM

Suburban police chiefs say Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz "tarnished our badge" when he, according to investigators, staged his Sept. 1 death to look like a homicide after years of stealing money from a program he oversaw.

"Anytime a police officer anywhere in the country is found to have committed some type of wrongdoing, I think police officers everywhere take it to heart and consider it tarnishing our badge," Oak Brook police Chief James Kruger said Wednesday.


But police leaders say Gliniewicz's actions are an anomaly that shouldn't lead to negative perceptions of the men and women in blue.

"I hope this is isolated to the individual and his actions and that it doesn't transmit or reflect upon the profession as whole," Cary police Chief Patrick Finlon said. "Because it shouldn't."

While Kruger said it's a "small segment of our profession that would do anything inappropriately," chiefs are concerned about the implications one officer's wrongs can have on all those who work to serve and protect.

He and Finlon said their departments aim to avoid a negative public image by employing community-oriented policing techniques and forming relationships with a variety of people in their jurisdictions.

Against perception issues, Kruger even said taking to social media can help promote the positive efforts of police personnel.

"What I'd really like to focus on are the good things that the great majority of police officers do," Finlon said.

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