William Gutschick

Riverside’s police force is undergoing an internal reshuffle after an announcement on June 12 that Deputy Chief David Krull had retired, setting the stage for a series of promotions for department supervisors.

Krull, who retired May 10, had been deputy chief since 2014 when he was promoted to replace William Legg. A very low-key presence, Krull had served as the department’s detective sergeant from 2008 until 2013, when he was promoted to lieutenant.

According to Police Chief Thomas Weitzel, Krull requested no fanfare when he retired after 20 years on Riverside’s force, true to his reserved nature.

“Dave was low-key his entire career,” said Weitzel, who praised Krull’s administrative skills. “He was a great asset to this department.”

Replacing Krull as deputy chief will be Lt. William Gutschick, a 29-year veteran of the department. Gutschick has served as the department’s operations supervisor since May 2014.

“I’m honored to get this opportunity,” said Gutschick. “It’s something I didn’t think I’d be able to achieve before I retired.”

Gutschick, 54, will hit the 30-year plateau in the summer of 2018, meaning he’ll be able to retire with a full pension. But, he said he doesn’t plan on leaving just yet.

“I have no intentions of retiring any time soon,” Gutschick said. “I’ve enjoyed my job and the challenges, from my very first day as a patrolman to moving up to deputy chief.”

In his role as deputy chief, Gutschick will take a completely administrative role, working on budgeting, scheduling, staffing, policy development and technology issues, said Weitzel.

“The deputy chief is appointed by the chief, and he earned it,” Weitzel said. “He’s loyal to the profession; it’s in his blood, but he’s also good administratively.”

Taking the role of operations supervisor will be Frank Lara, who has been promoted from detective sergeant to lieutenant.

Lara, who celebrated his 30th anniversary with the Riverside Police Department in January, was appointed detective sergeant in February 2013 and has led the investigations unit, which also includes Officer James Lazansky, since that time.

The move to operations supervisor will be a big change for Lara, whose job as a detective meant he was on-call at all times and had to respond to situations no matter what time or day of the week. While he may not miss those hours, Lara said he’ll miss the job.

“I’ll miss that aspect of working cases and coming to a conclusion, an arrest or helping a victim,” Lara said.

He also won’t be completely divorced from the investigations unit, since he’ll be sharing an office with the department’s new detective sergeant, Sgt. Leo Kotor, and Lazansky.

“I’ll still get to hear about cases and give my two cents, if they ask,” Lara said. “But my day will be all administration.”

Kotor, a 20-year veteran of the department, was promoted to sergeant in January 2013. Kotor will replace Lara as Riverside representative on the west suburban Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT), while Lazansky will be appointed to a position on WESTAF, which handles homicide and kidnapping investigations for several suburban police agencies.

Kotor will phase out of his role as a member of the emergency services team for the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS), a SWAT team that responds to emergency situations throughout northeast Illinois. He will be replaced on that team by Officer Isaac Hamilton, according to Weitzel.

Finally, Officer John Cairo has been promoted to sergeant, replacing Kotor as a shift supervisor. Weitzel said it’s unclear at this time exactly which shift Cairo will lead. Cairo started with the Riverside Police Department in October 2003.

In addition to the supervisory promotions, Riverside swore in a new police officer on June 15.

Officer Chris Kudla comes aboard as a patrol officer after serving as a police officer for more than a decade in Lyons and for a little more than two years in far southwest suburban Montgomery. 

Kudla was one of seven Lyons police officers laid off in April 2014. His brother, David, is a police officer in Brookfield.

Chris Kudla started his field training in Riverside in March, according to Weitzel. 

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