After 25 years, Shorewood residents are going to see a new face at the police department.
Chief Robert Puleo is retiring at the end of the month. The interim police chief will be Aaron Klima, the department's administrative services commander.
“The village board has decided to employ a search firm for a police chief,” Puleo said. “And that search firm is Voorhees and Associates.”
They expect the search to take about 60 days, Puleo said. Meanwhile, Klima will do a fine job, he said.
Puleo started in 1976. He was working in the savings and loan industry doing construction lending. He saw a part time position in the Shorewood Police Department, applied and tested for it, then got it he said.
Then he noticed a full time position at the Crest Hill Police Department. He worked there for almost five years before a full time postion opened up in Shorewood.
“This is where I wanted to be,” Puleo explained, starting back in Shorewood in 1986.
Puelo was named chief in January 1994.
“Yeah, I’m going to miss it,” he said. “I’ll tell you what I’m going to miss the most is the people that I work with.”
Puleo said that it wasn’t just the co-workers within the police department. All the people throughout the village that he has worked with have been wonderful folks, he said.
“There are a couple cases I want to solve before I go,” he said.
One in particular was the David Wolfson murder from the 1980s. The 31-year-old businessman was killed and dumped into a shallow grave along the west Frontage Road north of Route 52. The chief said they have some people of interest, and every lead pointed back to these same people.
“It’s still cold,” he said.
In general, however, these kinds of cases do not surface very often, he explained. When they survey residents, the biggest problem facing Shorewood right now is traffic.
“That’s good news to me,” Puleo said. “We have our share (of more serious crime) but we don’t have anywhere near what the larger municipalities have.”
The result is that the police can focus on providing more services, such as hosting seminars and providing information. In turn, those services help keep the crime rates low.
Puleo and his wife, Cindy, have eight grandchildren. He said after he retires, his No. 1 priority will be spending more time with them. He wants to spend the first few months being grandpa before he even considers other employment opportunities.
Then once Cindy retires, she is just going to add to the fun he said.