Steven Stelter, who was unceremoniously ushered out the door as Brookfield’s police chief in late October 2015, has landed on his feet in the nearby village of Westchester.
On Jan. 21 the Westchester Police Department announced on its Facebook page that Stelter, 57, had been appointed police chief. He’ll begin his new job on Feb. 8.
“It’s exciting,” said Stelter in a phone interview with the Landmark. “I’m looking forward to it.”
He replaces Chief John Carpino, who was hired as Westchester’s chief in August 2013 after a stint as city manager of Oakbrook Terrace. Prior to that, Carpino served in law enforcement for 40 years, including roles as deputy police chief of Oakbrook Terrace and as police chief of Willow Springs and Worth.
Carpino had announced his retirement as Westchester’s police chief just prior to Stelter’s departure from Brookfield. Once he resigned as police chief of Brookfield, Stelter said he submitted an application for the job.
He was one of eight candidates interviewed by a three-person panel of law enforcement professionals.
“He had an impeccable resume,” said Westchester Village Manager Janet Matthys. “He showed a lot of leadership qualities, and I think he’ll be a very good fit for our community.”
As one of the three finalists for the job, Stelter said he had to give a presentation to members of the Westchester Village Board on what he planned to implement for the police department during his first 90 days as chief.
“I thought the process was well done,” Stelter said. “Westchester seems like it has a solid [village] board with a vested interest in the workings of their departments.”
Stelter was Brookfield’s police chief from December 2007 until late October 2015, when he was abruptly asked to resign by Village Manager Keith Sbiral. No reason for that request has been made public.
In November 2015, the Brookfield Village Board approved an agreement that paid Stelter more than $40,000 in severance pay and accumulated unused sick and vacation benefits, along with a positive letter of reference.
Prior to serving as chief in Brookfield, Stelter served as a police officer for the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department from 1979 until 2007. At the time of his departure, he was director of the DuPage County Auto Theft Task Force.
A U.S. Army veteran and 2010 graduate of the FBI National Academy, Stelter also serves as 4th vice president for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.