Updated: February 17, 2013 6:32AM
The Olympia Fields Village Board on Monday swore in new police Chief John Krull, then approved his request for five new Tasers and updated police department requirements regarding part-time officers.
Krull was the deputy police chief in Riverside before entering a field of more than 70 candidates for the Olympia Fields job.
“The police department has an absolutely outstanding group of officers,” Krull told the board after he was sworn in. “I’m confident and very pleased with what I’ve seen so far.”
The board unanimously approved Krull’s request for $4,300 for five new Tasers to replace models with expired warranties.
“There are a lot of electronic controls in those devices, and if those controls aren’t working properly, the officer can be at risk, the offender can be at risk, and ultimately, the village of Olympia Fields, because of the liability involved,” Krull said.
The Tasers will be assigned to specific officers, who will be accountable for them, he said. A rotation system will be used so only two or three Tasers at a time will have to be replaced in the future, he said.
The board also voted to require part-time officers to obtain a firearms owner’s identification card, approved allowing part-time officers to carry a gun when off duty, and agreed to recognize out-of-state driver’s licenses as valid for employment. The rules previously said an officer must have an Illinois driver’s license, Krull said.
“But we’ve got officers that live in Indiana, so as long as they have a valid United States driver’s license, they’re OK,” he said.
The board also recognized retired officer Thomas Henderson, who was permanently disabled in an altercation with a robbery suspect. It presented awards to detective Daniel Kickert, detective Mark Akiyama, 911 operator Emma Kaya and resident Phil Ashworth for their work on tracking down the driver of a fatal hit-and-run in Olympia Fields.