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Let the search begin

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Worth seeking out a new police chief

Worth Police Chief Martin Knolmayer calls it a career tomorrow, Friday, but the village’s plans to find his replacement are in their infancy.
  Mayor Mary Werner shed little light on the village’s timeline or process for selecting a new top cop.
  “We are reviewing options at this time. As soon as we have any updated information, I will let you know,” Werner said in an email Monday.
  Deputy Chief Mark Micetic is the department’s second in command, but whether he will be named the interim chief remained uncertain late Tuesday afternoon.
  “Hopefully we will make that decision pretty quick,” said trustee Warren Soldan, the board’s police department liaison.
  Knolmayer announced his retirement at the Sept. 16 village board meeting. He leaves the village after more than 28 years of service and shortly before his 50th birthday.
  Trustee Tedd Muersch said he favors the appointment of an existing member of the police department hierarchy.
  “At this point, it seems like it would be worth it to promote from within,” Muersch said.
  Knolmayer rose through the ranks, becoming chief in 2011, 25 years after joining the force.
  Soldan agreed, saying he would prefer the village promote from within the ranks.
  Muersch added that it’s very early in the process, and the village board has not discussed the matter yet.
  “It’s really, early,” he said. “We haven’t gotten together as a group.”
  Trustee Colleen McElroy said she has talked to Werner about Knolmayer’s replacement.
  The chief is a mayoral appointment, but the board can reject the selection, McElroy said.
  She added that the new chief must work for the best interests of the village and understand the direction of the police department.
  “I would like to see what our options are,” McElroy said. “It’s difficult to say right now. You don’t want to (chose a replacement) in haste. This is a big position.”
  Knolmayer said he decided to retire to spend more time with his family.
  Knolmayer joined the police department as a patrol officer in 1986. A decade later, he moved to investigations where he would spend 14 years.
  While at that post, he worked with the South Suburban Major Crimes Unit. From there, he was assigned to the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and worked with the organization for 11 years to investigate homicides and kidnappings.
  Knolmayer became a sergeant in 2000 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2006.