Glendale Heights native named his hometown's police chief

  • George Pappas has been sworn in as the new police chief in Glendale Heights.

    George Pappas has been sworn in as the new police chief in Glendale Heights. Courtesy of the village of Glendale Heights

  • "We here at the police department want to work with and for our community," new Glendale Heights Police Chief George Pappas said.

    "We here at the police department want to work with and for our community," new Glendale Heights Police Chief George Pappas said. Courtesy of the village of Glendale Heights

 
 
Updated 11/22/2021 8:43 PM

Glendale Heights has a new police chief, though he's certainly not new to Glendale Heights.

George Pappas is now officially at the helm of his hometown police department.

 

Village trustees appointed Pappas, who had been acting chief, to the permanent post, making him only the second top cop born and raised in Glendale Heights, officials say.

His roots there run deep. Pappas went to Reskin Elementary, Marquardt Middle and Glenbard North High schools. His mother, Beverly, is still a school crossing guard.

"Just being from this community, I believe in Glendale Heights," Pappas said Monday as he started his first full week as permanent chief. "I believe in the residents here. I believe in the businesses and the schools here."

He's focused on community interaction and developing relationships in Glendale Heights, a diverse suburb where nearly 32% of the population is Hispanic or Latino and 21% is Asian, the most recent census figures showed.

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"People talk about community policing a lot, but they don't always follow through on it," Pappas said. "That's what I want to do, make sure we actually get out there and we are involved with our community."

Pappas was drawn to law enforcement growing up with coaches who were police officers. He started his career in Glendale Heights nearly 30 years ago as a community service officer in 1992 before being sworn in as an officer in 1996.

But his employment with the village goes back even further. Acting Village Manager Doug Flint looked up municipal records and confirmed a teenage Pappas began working for the Glendale Heights recreation department on Sept. 20, 1988.

"He has been actively involved in the village since he was 15 years old," Flint said at Pappas' swearing-in Friday.

Pappas advanced through the ranks, holding various roles, including special operations detective, a school resource officer and sergeant of investigations. Pappas most recently was deputy chief of patrol operations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I couldn't be prouder of being able to promote a deputy chief to the chief position, who's ultimately qualified and has the respect of the officers," Flint said.

Pappas succeeds Flint, who was appointed chief in 2016 and retired from the department in late September. Flint then became assistant village administrator. He's been filling the top administrative role on an interim basis since earlier this month.

"I will do whatever role the village would like me to do," Flint said when asked if he wants the job permanently.

Pappas will be paid an annual salary of $149,656. He made $145,990 as deputy chief of police in 2019, according to the Better Government Association's public salary database.

The village plans to name a new deputy from within the department, Flint said. Retirements have left the force short of its authorized level of 55 officers, but the department is hiring four who will start in January, Pappas said.

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