When they were sergeants in the Brookfield Police Department from 2013-19, Michael Kuruvilla and Terry Schreiber co-supervised the afternoon shift, sharing the administrative and operational responsibilities.
In July, the 38-year-old Kuruvilla was named the village’s police chief and last month he appointed his old shift partner, Schreiber, as deputy chief.
“Terry is one of the most committed, passionate people I know to the department and to the village,” said Kuruvilla. “He’s someone who understand that this is a position of leadership, a position that requires poise and tact and a sensitivity, frankly, to the community and to the public.”
According to Kuruvilla, Schreiber was officially installed as deputy chief on Sept. 13. He was sworn in front of family, friends and colleagues during a ceremony at the Brookfield Village Board meeting on Sept. 27.
Schreiber, 40, has been a Brookfield police officer for 15 years, hired in 2006 after serving four years as an auxiliary officer. He’s a Brookfield native and graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School. He still lives in the village.
As a resident, he said, he’s able to view what’s going on in Brookfield from that perspective as well as a law enforcement professional.
“It’s like anything else,” Schreiber said. “When you live somewhere you work, you have an eye for things. I talk to neighbors who are affected by the decisions of the town. I understand what’s happening at the schools. It gives you an overall sense of the pulse of the community.”
As deputy police chief, Schreiber is responsible for supervising the day-to-day operations of the entire department, including all three patrol shifts, the investigations division and the records division. His role, he said, is principally “inward facing” as opposed to the chief, whose job it is to be the public face of the department.
Rising through the ranks, Schreiber has gained experience with just about all of the department’s roles. He’s served as a field training officer, detective, as a juvenile specialist, evidence technician and as a member of the bicycle patrol.
He’s also looked to for information technology expertise and is a certified drone operator, who will be part of that team when Brookfield gets its drone program up and running.
“He’s someone that doesn’t shy away from learning a little bit about everything,” Kuruvilla said of Schreiber. “He’s not someone who will ever say no to a challenge.”
Since he was 18 years old, Schreiber has also been a certified commercial pilot and was also a flight instructor with his own business, Aviation Professionals Institute, out of Gary, Indiana.
He caught the flying bug from his dad, Bill, whose father owns Aviation Professionals Inc., which operates out of Midway Airport. According to the company’s website, API is the only flight school in Chicago and one of the oldest pilot schools in the nation.
It’s been a while since Terry Schreiber has flown a plane, he said, but he keeps his certifications current.
Apart from general operational responsibilities, Schreiber said he’s working on other projects, including maintaining the flow of communication within the department, and providing clear guidance on implementing departmental priorities.
He’s also working to expand the department’s surveillance camera initiative, which was rolled out in 2018 under then Chief James Episcopo.
With both Kuruvilla and Schreiber essentially mid-career officers – Kuruvilla was also hired in 2006 – the department leadership should see some stability, which Kuruvilla said will provide time to develop the department’s future leaders.
“It’s one of my goals that we start to identify future leaders and start working on mentoring [them],” Kuruvilla said. “It’s a young department, so we really want to start bringing up those young people.”