LYNWOOD | The Lynwood Village Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a motion to hire two new police officers effective Nov. 26.
The two police officers were hired through a new lateral program that emphasizes experienced officers.
Craig Barnes was a police officer in Burns Harbor before joining Lynwood last month. Michael Lusk was most recently a part-time officer in the village before becoming a full-time officer. Lusk also had experience as an officer in Arizona.
“We need to mix hiring experienced officers with new candidates who have to go through the training academy,” Police Chief Michael Mears said. “If we hire candidates who have to go to the academy, they are not ready to patrol our streets for quite a long time.”
Mears said it was also beneficial to the rookies to be mixed in with experienced officers.
“That experience enhances the training of new candidates,” Mears said.
After the board approved the hiring, they also adopted a motion to authorize the Police and Fire Commission to hire two more experienced officers.
“The first two officers’ filled vacancies in the village,” Mears told the board. “The next two will be back-fill for two of our officers who will join a federal task force in the south suburbs.”
Mears could not divulge any information about the new federal task force. He did confirm that funds for the two officers on the task force will be provided by the federal government.
“Lynwood will not have to spend any local money for the federal positions,” Mears said. “That is being subsidized by the task force.”
Lynwood officials have participated in south suburban task forces in the past. This will be the first federal one.
“This is a great opportunity for the officers who join,” Mears said. “It is also a great opportunity for the village to build and expand our network working with other law enforcement officials. The more information we can share with other villages and towns, the better we will protect our own residents.”
Mears used as example the recent arrest of a suspect who stole a Lynwood squad car.
“Sauk Village and Cook County police worked with our staff to apprehend the suspect,” Mears said. “The teamwork between the different police departments helped to minimize the potential for further damage and injury.”