Veteran Winnetka cop named to top spot in Vernon Hills

Updated 5/3/2017 6:24 PM
  • Patrick L. Kreis

    Patrick L. Kreis

Patrick L. Kreis, a 26-year veteran of the Winnetka Police Department and that agency's current chief, will replace Vernon Hills Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer after his retirement in June.

The Vernon Hills village board Tuesday approved a contract with Kreis, who began as a patrol officer in Winnetka and was promoted through the ranks to become chief there in 2011.

The selection was unanimously approved by the outgoing village board before the meeting was adjourned and the new board sworn in. Kreis was chosen from 59 applicants in a search that began in early February.

"I think it was a combination of timing, experience and personality," said Village Manager John Kalmar, who recommended Kreis to Mayor Roger Byrne. The police chief is appointed by Byrne with the consent of the village board. GovHR USA, a Northbrook-based public management consulting firm, coordinated the recruitment and selection process.

"Patrick was vetted, probably to a fault," Byrne said "I was probably the biggest fly in the ointment."

Fleischhauer, a former deputy chief in Palatine, was hired in Vernon Hills in April 2000.

Kreis is scheduled to be sworn in June 6. His contract is for an indefinite term with an annual base salary of $150,745.

"Moving on to a larger community and police department will allow me some new professional challenges, and I'm excited for the opportunity," he said.

Kreis said he hadn't considered leaving until the Vernon Hills job arose. The village's similarity with Winnetka drew his interest.

Kreis served as a staff sergeant in the Army Reserve's 12th Special Forces Group (Airborne) from 1985 to 1993. He's also served on the board of the Northern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy.

In Winnetka, Kreis was as a SWAT team leader for Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, became a founding partner in a police training management software company and taught undergraduate criminal justice courses.

Winnetka Village Manager Rob Bahan said Kreis has been an asset to the village organization and community.

"He leaves the Winnetka Police Department a modern department, focused on excellent, professional and dedicated service," Bahan said.


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