Growing up in Riverside, David Krull always knew he wanted to be a police officer. To him, it was a life of constant change, where each day held something new.
“I went into it because I wanted to do something different every day,” he said. “The job is constantly changing, it’s a constant learning process.”
Krull fulfilled his dream almost 20 years ago, and this Saturday, after a decade of patrolling the same streets he explored as a kid, he is being honored as his hometown’s Officer of the Year. The award will be presented at the department’s annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service at 11 a.m. at Riverside’s downtown train station at 90 Bloomingbank Road.
Assistant Chief Thomas Weitzel said Krull was chosen as this year’s recipient of the Riverside Police Department’s annual award because he has consistently lived up to the standards the department expects of its officers.
“Obviously, he’s an outstanding individual and an excellent officer,” Weitzel said.
Krull began his career in law enforcement in Burr Ridge in 1990, but transferred to Riverside 10 years ago to give back to his hometown. Working in Riverside is truly a family affair for Krull-his parents still live in the village, and his brother, John, works alongside him as a police lieutenant.
Krull said he enjoys working in Riverside, because the size of the department allows officers to take on a large variety of responsibilities that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.
“It’s a smaller department, and that lets officers take on more diverse, more specialized job duties,” he said.
Krull has worked as a field training officer, training the department’s new recruits, for the past nine years. He said he focuses on teaching his new officers how to be self-sufficient within the department, but also tries to instill in them a sense of duty to the community.
“Riverside is a unique community,” he said. “The residents enjoy us, and we have to do our best to help them.”
In addition to training new officers, Krull also trains his fellow officers in how to use new technology in the department. He began this role by maintaining the department’s electronic fingerprinting system, and then took over the introduction of a new records management system. Krull said he regularly comes in to work early or stays late to make sure the new system is running smoothly.
As for the Officer of the Year award, Krull said the announcement came as a surprise to him.
“I’m very honored and humbled,” he said. “I didn’t think I would be getting it.”
Such humility was predicted by Weitzel.
“If you ask him, he’s going to say he doesn’t deserve this,” he said. “But I can assure you, he does.”
Also being recognized at the May 19 awards ceremony will be three members of the Chicago Police Department: Superintendent Philip Cline, Deputy Chief Raymond Risley and Sergeant James Doody. All three will be in attendance to receive Law Enforcement Service Awards, which Weitzel said the department gives to individuals who have in some way worked on issues affecting public safety officers.
Weitzel said Superintendent Cline was especially deserving of the award for strengthening partnerships between the Chicago and suburban police departments over the course of his career. Weitzel said Riverside police have benefited from more collaboration with the Chicago police, both in terms of training and criminal investigations, during Cline’s time as superintendent than ever before in his career.
“In 23 years, I’ve never seen a time when we’ve worked this closely together,” Weitzel said.