Sunday, January 21, 2001

Deer Park police chief quits

Berens taking township job

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        DEER PARK — When Michael Berens starts work for Sycamore Township next month, it will be his first new full-time employer in more than 25 years, and only the second in his career.

        Mr. Berens, Deer Park's police chief since 1994 and a police officer here since 1976, will become Sycamore Township administrator Feb. 4, a day after leaving the Deer Park post.

        “I felt that it was a great opportunity on the personal level, but also Sycamore Township is a very progressive township,” Chief Berens said. “I'm looking forward to new challenges. I feel excited about the opportunity to help Sycamore Township grow and progress in the future.”

        As for where he's been, the chief says he hopes to leave a favorable impression on this small community of about 6,100.

        “When I became chief, I really wanted to increase the level of law enforcement service to the community,” said Chief Berens, a 46-year-old Fairfield Township resident. “I feel I've done that in several ways. I feel like progress is moving.”

        He said he has hired more civilian dispatchers and uses them full-time, allowing officers to spend more time on patrols. The department was able to hire two more officers with federal grants. Drug Abuse Resistance Education and other school-focused programs were started. The department now has a full-time investigator.

        “I hate to lose him,” said Deer Park Mayor David Collins. “He's done an excellent job of running the department and working with the officers and the city and the citizens.”

        The city will be promoting from within the department, pending a civil service examination, said David O'Leary, Deer Park safety-service director.


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