Cmdr. John Burica is expected to be sworn in as the new top cop at Tuesday’s village board meeting, when trustees are expected to confirm his appointment.
Burica replaces Rob Piscia, who became assistant village administrator in May after Howard Sloan retired.
From a pool of 64 applicants from as far away as Texas, the board interviewed five finalists, including Burica. He is to assume his new duties immediately, overseeing a department of 30 officers at an annual salary of $103,000.
“Commander Burica stood out because he meets every qualification,” Mayor Jim Holland said. “He is known to the community and to us. That was an advantage.”
Holland said he was very pleased with the “thorough search” which “confirmed that we have a great person right on our staff.”
Burica, a New Lenox resident, has been in law enforcement for 16 years, three in Mokena and 13 with Frankfort, starting as a patrolman.
“I’m very excited to have this opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with the guys in the department and the community,” Burica said.
He plans to lead with a “team approach” and is seeking ideas from police officers on how to enhance their programs.
“We have a very supportive village board who is willing to assist us in any way,” he said.
Burica has a master’s degree in public administration from Governors State University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Illinois State University. He is a graduate of the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command and has been certified as a police chief by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
The soon-to-be chief and his wife, Lisa, are parents of two children, 8 and 11, and have lived in the Southland for 34 years. Burica also coaches youth wrestling, baseball and football and is a member of the Frankfort Lions Club.
“Commander Burica stood out as a proven leader, an excellent police officer and one who has the insight and suggestions to make our police department most effective in meeting the law enforcement challenges in the years ahead,” Holland said.
The mayor said it will be up to the new chief to name a new commander, unless he plans to change the structure of the department. Currently, there is one chief, two commanders, four sergeants, senior patrolmen and patrolmen.
Category: The New Chief