While a former Des Plaines police commander faces charges that accuse him of falsifying records provided for a federally-funded grant, plans are underway for a new department policy that will ensure such irregularities will not occur again, said Police Chief William Kushner.
Kushner said he was currently in the process of crafting an order to take effect immediately, which will ensure that this kind of thing cannot happen again.
“In other words, we’re going to have verification, we’re going to have checks and balances,” Kushner said. “It’s no longer going to be the word of one person saying these five people were working, or whatever the case may be.”
In addition to the retired police commander, Timothy Veit, 55, of Mount Prospect, facing one felony count for making false statement, 13 Des Plaines police officers could be suspended in connection with the investigation into the grant records, Kushner said. Kushner said he would make a public statement when the plan for disciplining the officers involved was complete.
“We are working through some of the mechanics involved with the discipline in this matter for the officers that are still here,” Kushner said. “And we’re gong to move forward from this.”
Kushner said the department would eventually transition to a new online tracking system called Lexipol.
With the new online tracking system, more personnel will be responsible for the information, Kushner said. He said if the police department was fortunate enough to get another grant for traffic enforcement, what happened in the past would not occur again.
“If we have a traffic detail, and there’s a supervisor that’s working as part of the grant, the watch commander is going to have to ensure that the supervisor and his officers were actually out there working,” Kushner said. “And if that means that we have to have another street supervisor and or have a deputy chief go out and verify, we will do that.”
Kushner took over the role of Des Plaines police chief in September 2012. The department is entangled in multiple lawsuits involving different individuals and accusations.
The false information Veit provided, according to the charges, caused a loss of $132,893 in federal funds that were reimbursed to Des Plaines for impaired driving enforcement programs, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.
“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Veit decided that he was going to sacrifice his pension and his reputation for some short-term financial gain,” Kushner said. “His conduct is certainly not representative of the fine men and women of the Des Plaines Police Department.”