Citing a substantial and growing administrative burden, Brookfield Police Chief Thomas Schoenfeld announced a plan last week to reorganize his department’s supervisory staff and hire an additional patrolman to facilitate the related personnel moves.
Specifically, Schoenfeld said he would like to create a deputy chief position because the department “is overwhelmed at the administrative level.”
Schoenfeld unveiled the plan at the Brookfield budget workshop on Wednesday, March 29.
“It’d be like an extra arm to me to assist me in administrative duties,” Schoenfeld said.
The police chief also said that the deputy chief would be able to fill the department’s main supervisory role when he is out of the office or on vacation, and would allow him to focus on a series of initiatives that currently can’t be implemented because of other day-to-day administrative tasks.
Among the many initiatives Schoenfeld would like to accomplish are updating school crisis response plans and village disaster plans; increasing coordination with neighboring police forces, including Metra; establishing a seasonal tactical unit to assist in drug and gang enforcement; plan for a new combined fire and police emergency dispatch center and establish a training program to comply with E-911 regulations; establish an internal affairs division to deal with labor and disciplinary issues; update the department’s records system; increase grant writing; create a police department Web site and a modern Neighborhood Watch organization; and update the officer field training program, among other things.
“I think [the reorganization] would allow for our department to run much smoother and more progressive,” Schoenfeld said.
Creating the deputy chief position will necessitate other moves within the department as well. According to Schoenfeld, the deputy chief would be, like the police chief, an appointed position. If given the green light by the village board, Schoenfeld said he would recommend Lt. Michael Manescalchi for the deputy chief spot.
That promotion would start a chain reaction of promotions. One sergeant would replace Manescalchi as lieutenant. However, Schoenfeld said he would promote two officers to sergeant and add a new patrolman to the department’s payroll.
The cost of the additional command staff would be offset in part, Schoenfeld said, by the retirement of two senior officers (at $67,700 per year), who will be replaced by entry level officers (at $45,900 per year).
Creating the deputy chief position, Schoenfeld added, would allow one lieutenant to concentrate his efforts on street patrol matters instead of both spending time on administrative duties.
“Both lieutenants are tied up with administrative duties,” Schoenfeld said. “The operations lieutenant should be out on the road more to keep the beat of the street.”
Schoenfeld noted that most neighboring departments, including smaller forces such as Riverside and LaGrange Park, have a deputy chief. He also pointed to Brookfield’s Fire Department, which has one chief and three command officers.
“We’re just asking for the same thing,” said Schoenfeld, who commands a department of 32 police officers.