The town is without a police chief and the town's fire chief is now in charge of both departments.
The Sauk Village Board of Trustees recently decided to eliminate the position of the police chief, combine the duties of the fire and police chief and give that position to the current fire chief. The action went into effect today
Former Police Chief Robert Fox no longer has a job. He said the board's decision was political because they perceive him as being close to the mayor and not to the board.
"I'm disappointed and concerned because the disappointment is that we're going to take politics over safety," Fox said.
"In my opinion, it was an inappropriate move due to the fact that the fire chief has no experience at all as a police officer," said Sauk Village trustee Enoch Benson IV.
Sauk Village residents are concerned about the village's decision to combine the jobs.
"It seems like the trustees are putting the whole village at risk," Sauk Village resident Bernice Brewer-Houston said. "They have gone out of their way with all this inner fighting with politics. And nobody is protecting the residents. What about us?"
"The chief has been very good at doing the things that he was brought here to do," Sauk Village resident Francine Anderson said. "That was to eliminate crime and to bring down the overtime that was made by our police department."
The Fire and Police Chief Alan Stoffregen said there is no money for the police chief position and he was asked to perform the administrative functions of a police chief.
Thursday was his first day on the new job.
"We're here to protect this town. And we put politics aside because it is not our job for politics," Stoffregen said.
Stoffregen believes his position is only temporary. He said once the village settles its budget problems, the state will be able to hire a police chief.