Mundelein Deputy Police Chief Eric Guenther will take over as the town's new chief of police at the end of this month, replacing longtime Chief Raymond J. Rose, village officials announced.
Rose will step down Jan. 31 after 20 years on the job.
Mayor Kenneth H. Kessler made the announcement at a recent village board meeting, according to a release to the media. The selection committee unanimously chose Guenther, 40, from three finalists after a process that began with 33 applicants nationwide, the village said.
"It's really an honor to be chief of the Mundelein Police Department," Guenther said. "Personally and professionally, it's an exciting time for me. We have a good group of people here that love the job and want to do it the best they can."
Guenther joined the Mundelein Police Department in 1995, and held the positions of sergeant and commander before being promoted to his current position of deputy chief in 2009, according to a bio provided by the village.
Guenther was one of two candidates from within the department to be considered for the position, said village Administrator John Lobaito. It was Guenther's integrity and character that made him the right person for the job, Lobaito said.
"We came to the conclusion that Deputy Chief Guenther was head and shoulders above the other candidates," Lobaito said. "We have a tradition of integrity (in the Mundelein Police Department). Deputy Chief Guenther is going to carry on that tradition."
Guenther lives with his wife and three children in Grayslake. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and was designated as a "certified eligible police chief" by the Illinois Association of the Chiefs of Police in May, according to the village.
Deputy Chief John Monahan said Guenther is worthy of the appointment.
"I think that (Guenther) has big shoes to fill with Chief Rose leaving," Deputy Chief John Monahan said. "But I'm very confident he has the abilities to continue to lead this department and keep Mundelein one of the leaders in Lake County."
Rose served the Elk Grove Village Police Department for 24 years, achieving the rank of deputy chief, before being tapped to head up the Mundelein Police Department in 1992, according to a bio provided by the village. He is the former president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police as well as the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association.
Rose said Guenther is the perfect choice to succeed him and build on the legacy he is leaving behind.
"I think the mayor and the village board have made the right decision," Rose said. Guenther "knows the importance of partnering with the community … He's held every position in the police department, which gives him a good insight into what the requirements of each one of these positions are."