New police chief appointed in North Riverside

? Chief George Kratochvil steps aside after 13 years as chief to make way for 16-year police veteran Anthony Garvey.

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North Riverside Mayor Richard Scheck ushered in a new era in the village's law enforcement history, when he named Anthony Garvey police chief on Feb. 21. Garvey, who was the village's deputy chief of police, replaces George Kratochvil, who retired after 31 years on the force. Kratochvil had been chief for the past 13 years.

A standing-room-only crowd of well-wishers for both men filled the village council chamber at the board's regularly scheduled board meeting.

"Thank you for accepting the officers I've recommended [for promotion]," Kratochvil said to Mayor Scheck and the board members. "I know they will enjoy your support as I have all these years."

Garvey, 39, has been with the North Riverside police for the past 16 years. For the past two years he's been the department's deputy chief.

He will continue to emphasize the technological advancements the department made under Kratochvil, and said that more of an more effort will be focused on homeland security issues, as the federal government pushes those mandates down to the local level.

Garvey, a resident of Brookfield, is the brother of Brookfield Village Trustee Michael Garvey.

In addition to Garvey, three other officers were promoted at the meeting. Lt. Thomas Tauer was promoted to deputy chief, while Lane Niemann and Deborah Ecklund were elevated to lieutenant and sergeant respectively.

Tauer started his career with the North Riverside Police Department in 1976 as an auxiliary officer/desk officer. By 1978, he was a patrolman and was promoted to sergeant in 1990. Tauer, 48, had been a lieutenant since 2003.

"Years ago I remember Deputy Chief Tauer standing on his bike watching a baseball game, and his father said that he was going to join the North Riverside police," said Trustee James Votava. "It's delightful to see that you're our deputy chief."

Niemann, 43, has been with the department for 20 years, the last three as a sergeant. He acknowledged that the jump from sergeant to lieutenant was a significant step.

"It is a big difference," he said. "But after 20 years, you're always looking for a new, rewarding challenge."

Ecklund, 39, is the department's second female sergeant. She began her career in North Riverside the same year as Garvey.

"He's the perfect candidate for the job," Ecklund said. "He's young, he's got a lot of great ideas, and I think he's going to do an outstanding job."

The evening was also a tribute to Kratochvil, whom Scheck appointed chief during is first term as mayor.

"Thirteen years ago tonight, I appointed you chief, and I've never regretted it a minute," Scheck said. "His legacy is that he left the department a better place than when he got here. You not only stepped up to the job, you brought another dimension to the police department."

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