Rosemont restructures command staff after top cop's still-mysterious resignation

  • William Anderson

    William Anderson

  • Donald E. Stephens III

    Donald E. Stephens III

 
 
Updated 1/13/2021 5:44 AM

Rosemont has reorganized its public safety department command staff after the still-mysterious departure of Superintendent Donald E. Stephens III.

William Anderson, named acting superintendent when Stephens III began a leave of absence in September, has been formally appointed to the civilian role of director of public safety by Mayor Brad Stephens.

 

Anderson had some three decades on the force before retiring as a deputy chief, then joining the Rosemont Convention & Tourism Bureau as general manager. He'll earn an annual salary of $135,000, an increase of $20,000 from what he was paid at the convention bureau. Stephens III had been making $217,000 a year.

Three sworn chiefs will serve under Anderson: Julio Alvarado, overseeing the patrol division; Joe Rivera, managing fire services; and Greg Nazuka, in charge of support services.

A 22-year veteran of the force, Stephens III formally resigned Nov. 12 for unspecified personal reasons and asked for his paid leave to be extended through the end of the calendar year. He didn't respond to a request for comment.

The mayor, who is the uncle of Stephens III, says he still hasn't seen or spoken to the former top cop since the abrupt resignation, or been given an explanation about it.

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"He retired, basically," Stephens said. "I don't know what he's going to do or anything, but I've got my thoughts on what was going on. But I really haven't talked to him."

The mayor said he does not believe the resignation is tied to any legal or ethical issues, and believes the department was well-managed under Stephens III.

"I've heard things from other people outside that he's applying at different places for different jobs, but it's none of my business," Stephens said.

Stephens III headed the department for six years after the retirement of his father, Donald E. Stephens II, the mayor's brother who died in 2016.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The leadership reorganization comes as the department looks to hire more officers to bulk up a force diminished by retirements. The department has 71 sworn employees cross-trained in police and fire service, but at one time it had close to 80.

On Monday, the village board approved changes to the village code aimed at luring cops from other departments, including Chicago's, and getting them on the street in Rosemont more quickly.

Under the so-called lateral transfer procedure, a sworn officer would be able to apply to a Rosemont committee that includes new command staff. The committee would make hiring recommendations to the police and fire commission and mayor, who would then be able to approve new hires with the advice and consent of the village board.

"We're in need of hiring some people, and with what's going on in the city, there could be some pretty decent candidates where we could hire them and put them right on the street, then schedule them into fire school at a later date," Stephens said.

No matter their current rank, officers would enter Rosemont at the lowest level of seniority and be bound by the village's long-standing residency requirement, the mayor said.

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