A Riverside police officer who a little more than a year ago was the department’s detective sergeant is in line to become the next deputy chief of police with the retirement of Deputy Chief William Legg later this month.
Legg, 52, who celebrated his 30th anniversary with the Riverside Police Department in late January, will retire, effective April 25. The man expected to be promoted to replace him is Lt. David Krull, who has been with the department for 17 years.
“David Krull would likely be the deputy chief,” said Police Thomas Weitzel. “That’d be my plan.”
Legg’s retirement will ripple through the entire department, creating other opportunities as well. Weitzel will also promote one officer to lieutenant and one to sergeant. Sgt. William Gutschick is in line to move up to lieutenant, while Jeffrey Miller is in line for promotion to sergeant, said Weitzel.
The department will also be hiring a new patrolman to fill the vacancy on the force created by Legg’s departure. But a new patrolman won’t be on the streets until the end of 2014 at the earliest, meaning the department will be shorthanded in the meantime.
“I’m hoping the village manager will approve my selections and move quickly after Bill’s last day,” said Weitzel.
When Legg leaves later this month, Weitzel will lose a close friend on the force. The two graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1979 and were hired as patrolmen in Riverside within months of each other. When Weitzel was promoted to sergeant, Legg was assigned to his shift.
“I’ll miss Bill,” said Weitzel. “We’re close friends. He was not a ‘yes’ man. He’d always give me his honest assessment and opinion. He wears his heart on his sleeve.”
Legg, a resident of Brookfield, fell into his career by accident. He had eyed a career as an attorney — as a prosecutor, specifically. Late in his undergraduate career, he needed an internship to fulfill a graduation requirement. When an internship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office fell through, he signed on to an internship in Riverside.
In 1984, he became a Riverside police dispatcher, where he became familiar with the police officers, including former Deputy Chief Bob Gordon.
“He was the best cop in the world,” said Legg of Gordon, who has since retired but remains a good friend. “He really turned my attitude around.”
Legg rose through the ranks to become a sergeant in 1997 and the department’s detective in 2006. Two years later, he was promoted to lieutenant. He was named deputy chief in January 2013 after the retirement of David Krull’s brother, John, who went on to become police chief in Olympia Fields.
“The promotion to deputy chief from lieutenant didn’t differ a great deal, but from detective to lieutenant it was a big difference,” said Legg. “It was much more administrative.”
Truth be told, Legg thrived as a cop on the street. He began his shift as deputy chief at 6:30 a.m. so he could attend the morning roll call to keep in close contact with the patrolmen. After finishing his administrative tasks, he’d get in his unmarked squad or ride along with another officer to patrol the village.
“It was his idea to go to roll call; he wanted to maintain that connection to patrol,” said Weitzel. “[On Wednesday] he made a warrant arrest with [Detective Sgt.] Frank Lara. I think Bill missed that.”
Legg thanked Weitzel for allowing him to continue to patrol the town.
“He allowed me when I finished my paperwork to get out and patrol, and I love it,” Legg said.
Though he’ll be leaving in just a couple of weeks, Legg said he doesn’t have any firm plans for his future in mind.
“I think I’ll decompress for a while and see what my options are,” he said. “And it won’t necessarily be law enforcement.”