Does Shorewood really need a deputy police chief?
Police and village officials answered that question with a "yes" Monday night and now the search is on for a candidate to fill the post.
The village's Police Commission will oversee the search and will interview candidates.
The job opened up after , and retired on Nov. 30 after serving as deputy chief for 16 months of his 27-year career on the force. It's unclear how long the search process will take.
Police Chief David Banaszynski has said keeping the position was key in the department. A deputy chief in Shorewood means more officers patrolling the streets, where they should be. Banaszynski said the deputy chief serves more of an administrative role, freeing him up to focus on strategic tasks and officers to keep the village safe.
Trustee Don Ford echoed Banaszynski on Monday, saying he sees the chief position as a big-picture, planning and budget position, and the deputy chief post as leader who oversees the day-to-day operations.
“We have found that not having this deputy chief role takes officers off the street and puts them into a sort of administrative role,” Ford said. “The position was left vacant for a long time, which put a real strain on the chief."
With Banaszynski likely to retire in the next few year, officials said filling the position might peg a successor to head the police force.
Trustee Patrick Linnane said if something were to happen to Banaszynski, there would be no one to take over the police force as things stand now.
Trustee Ellen Eckman, who cast the lone vote against filling the post, said neighboring communities don't have a deputy chief and in this economy, filling the position may not be the right move.