Island Lake's interim police chief might get the job
Island Lake's interim police chief may soon get the job permanently.
The village board will meet Thursday night to discuss removing the "interim" label from Dan Palmer's title.
To take that action, the board first needs to terminate its contract with the Gold Shield Detective Agency, which brought Palmer to Island Lake. That could happen at the meeting.
A vote to formally name Palmer chief is expected Thursday, too.
Palmer, 60, of Bartlett, has led Island Lake's police force since September. He replaced Anthony Sciarrone, who was put on leave and then fired by the village board for poor record-keeping and other flaws.
Before landing in Island Lake, Palmer served as Bartlett's police chief for 17 years and as emergency services director in Hanover Township, among other jobs in a long law enforcement career.
When he was hired in Island Lake, Palmer insisted it would be a short-term gig.
"I figured (in) four to six months, I'd be out of here," Palmer said Wednesday.
But over time, as Palmer made personnel changes and increased staffing and training, he saw departmental morale improve -- and he was asked by village officials about staying.
Eventually, Palmer said, he warmed to the idea.
Police officer Chris Reese, a union representative, said he and his fellow officers are "very excited" at the prospect of Palmer staying on as chief.
"This is the best morale that I've ever seen in this department," Reese said.
Mayor Charles Amrich praised Palmer for improving the department in his short time in Island Lake.
"He just brings some professionalism to the position," Amrich said. "And that's what we're looking for."
The terms of Palmer's proposed contract weren't immediately available.
Although Sciarrone was ousted as police chief, Island Lake residents haven't heard the last of him. He now is running for village trustee, a post he had before becoming chief in 2015.
Sciarrone is one of four candidates for three seats on the board in the April 2 election -- including one running a write-in campaign.
Palmer has no qualms about serving as chief if Sciarrone returns to the village board.
"There's not a whole lot that can bother me at this point in my life," Palmer said.
Thursday's meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.