Three up-and-coming leaders in various fields of law enforcement have been selected by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) as the "Rising Shields of Law Enforcement" for their leadership in advancing the field.
Sgt. Scott Eisenmenger (Buffalo Grove Police Department), Corrections Officer Dante Brown (Lake County Sheriff's Office), and Master Sergeant Margaret McGreal (Illinois State Police, District Chicago) were selected for the awards from among 19 nominees representing large-, small-, and medium-sized local police departments, state agencies, and universities and colleges. The third annual awards will be presented June 21 at the ILACP Summer Training Conference at the Tinley Park Convention Center.
"This group represents the type of leadership and initiative that we seek among progressive law enforcement leaders in Illinois," said Downers Grove Police Chief Robert Porter, ILACP president. The Rising Shields awards encourage outstanding leaders under the age of 45 and below the deputy chief or lieutenant levels in the various fields of law enforcement to continue to grow in the profession.
Sgt. Scott Eisenmenger, who was selected as a Rising Shield in the medium-sized department category, began his career as a patrolman with the 65-employee Buffalo Grove Police Department in 1995. Described by Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steven Casstevens as a "go-getter" who is looked up to by his peers, Eisenmenger is credited with reformatting and increasing the department's training program, improving employee morale, and helping calm school and community fears after a school shooting in another state. He is also involved with the agency's homeland security and emergency management programs. "Law enforcement is an honorable profession that demands the highest levels of integrity and commitment," Sgt. Eisenmenger said. "It has undergone much change over the years. Domestic terrorism is a real threat and police are on the front lines," he added. His emergency management skills were demonstrated in the past year when severe weather caused the evacuation and emergency sheltering of thousands of festival-goers.
Corrections Officer Dante Brown, the honoree in the Rising Shields large department category, grew up in a neighborhood infected by gangs and drugs. While as a corrections officer he cannot police neighborhoods, he has taken the initiative to seek additional anti-gang training, often on his own time, and visits community centers, schools, and places of worship to demonstrate his support and help community members. "The public safety and community service programs he is doing are a great start for getting information out to the communities," noted Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran. Brown has visited all of the schools he attended while growing up to show that the law enforcement community cares and is there to help. "Officer Brown realized he could not make the changes he wanted by himself," said Sheriff Curran, explaining that "he spoke with fellow officers to have them volunteer their time and experience with community programs. What started out with five officers now has over 30, with the majority recruited by Officer Brown."
Master Sergeant Margaret McGreal, nominated in the Rising Shield State agency category, believes that diversity, technology, and training are keys to advancing law enforcement, according to District Chicago State Police Captain Luis Guitierrez, who nominated her for the award. As the Illinois State Police District Chicago Field Training Coordinator since 2009, Master Sergeant McGreal trains and mentors other officers to become leaders. "She challenges officers to seek additional training certifications and temporary duty assignments to broaden their skills and knowledge," Guitierrez said, adding that she is committed to developing quality female officers to serve as future leaders of the department. "Her desire to see officers succeed and her commitment to the ideals of the Illinois State Police serve as a model for other officers."
The Rising Shield awards serve to educate the public about the many contributions of both sworn officers and others who work in law enforcement, and help communities to better understand the often unrecognized roles law enforcement personnel play in keeping communities safe, according to ILACP President Robert Porter. "Collaborating with each year's honorees helps us understand and meet the needs of law enforcement's next generation of top-tier leadership," Chief Porter noted.
For more information about the awards and the honorees, go to the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Website at www.ilchiefs.org.