Matthew Buckley is still Riverside’s deputy fire chief, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to continue working in that capacity in the future after being appointed deputy police chief in the village of Lyons.
The Lyons Village Board on July 16 voted to confirm the appointment of Buckley as deputy chief. The appointment was made by Village Manager Thomas Sheahan, who also serves as the village’s acting police chief. Sheahan was formerly the police chief of Oak Brook.
Buckley, a sergeant, leapfrogged two commanders, Neil Sexton and Brian Kuratko, in being named to the post.
According to Buckley, he’ll be overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Lyons Police department. Sexton will continue to handle administrative duties as commander, while Kuratko will continue to handle operations.
“One thing I have very much in my favor is two excellent commanders,” said Buckley, a Riverside resident. “Having us all working in one direction is vital for the department and how we serve the community.”
Since 1988, Buckley has also been a paid-on-call firefighter in Riverside. He was named deputy fire chief in 2006 and served in that capacity until 2010, when he resigned after a falling out with then Fire Chief Kevin Mulligan.
After Mulligan was fired as chief, Fire Chief Spencer Kimura named Buckley deputy fire chief again in 2011. Buckley spends about 30 hours per week in his job as deputy fire chief in Riverside.
With increased responsibilities in Lyons, Buckley said he’s not sure how that’s going to impact his availability to Riverside.
“We’re going to have to evaluate it as things progress,” said Buckley. “If I need to step back, we’ll have to discuss it and see if we need to readjust the rank structure [in Riverside].
“I’m not going to leave the department high and dry. We’ll work it out.”
Riverside Village Manager Peter Scalera said he and Buckley have talked informally, but have not addressed his duties in the village going forward.
“I wanted some time to think about it,” said Scalera. “I’m not sure if he has the time to dedicate himself here [as deputy fire chief].”