From West Chicago to North Chicago, city  Appoints New Deputy Police Chief

Newly-appointed North Chicago Deputy Police Chief Lazaro Perez during the swearing in by North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham. – City of North Chicago

Three New Police Officers to be hired in Spring 2017

by Long Hwa-shu

Lazaro Perez, former chief of West Chicago Police, has been named deputy chief of North Chicago Police, Mayor Leon Rockingham announced.

Meanwhile, the city plans to hire three policemen bringing the police department’s strength to 56 officers, said Police Chief Richard Wilson. Of the 53 officers currently, 50 are men and three are women.

Perez, whose appointment becomes effective Oct. 17, has been interim director of Suburban Law Enforcement Academy based at the DuPage Community College in Naperville. He received his bachelor’s degree in police management and administration from Kaplan University and is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command.

After we reviewed his achievements and leadership, we chose him because he would be a tremendous asset to us.” – North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham

“We’re proud to have director Perez come aboard to help transform our police department to be among the best in the Chicago area,” said the mayor.

“There were quite a few applicants for the job. After we reviewed his achievements and leadership, we chose him because he would be a tremendous asset to us,” he added.

North Chicago is able to hire three additional policemen after it has been awarded a $375,000 grant by the Justice Department under its COPS Hiring Program(CHIP). The program will pay for the salaries of three new officers for three years. The starting salary will be $56,000.

Calling the grant “a great news” for the city, Rockingham said it will “bring us closer to our goal of achieving the staffing levels we need in our police force.”

“With this grant, residents will see a greater presence of police officers to fight crime and keep our neighborhoods safe,” he added.

Hiring will begin early in 2017, according to Chief Wilson. The city’s Police and Fire Board will create a list of candidates to fill the positions. Candidates must be between 21 and 35 years of age and they must pass a battery of tests including physical and written, said Wilson.

Mayor Rockingham credited Sen. Mark Kirk with helping the city to secure the grant.

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