Flossmoor Fire Department promotes captain to assistant chief, hires new captain

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Flossmoor Fire Department promotes captain to assistant chief, hires new captain

September 10, 2021 - 22:14
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Matt Berk, left, is sworn in as assistant fire chief Sept. 7 by Flossmoor Village Clerk Gina LoGalbo, right, while Mayor Michelle Nelson looks on. (Provided photo)


The Flossmoor Fire Department promoted Matthew Berk from captain to assistant fire chief, effective Aug. 23, and hired Dan Bracken to the vacant captain’s role effective Aug. 24.

The Village Board made things official on Tuesday, Sept. 7, with Village Clerk Gina LoGalbo administering the oath of office to both men.

“Tonight is a very important day in the history of the Flossmoor Fire Department,” Chief Robert Kopec said. “The outpouring of support you can see in this room speaks volume about these men who are about to take the oath to serve our community.”

Berk began his fire service career in May 2000 as a volunteer with the Village of Flossmoor, according to a presentation by Kopec. He also served with the Calumet City and Wheaton fire departments while attaining certifications and furthering his education, and then came back to Flossmoor in 2011 as the full-time day captain and the first 24-hour shift captain.




Dan Bracken, left, takes the oath of office as captain in the Flossmoor Fire Department. (Provided photo)

Bracken started his fire service career in 2001 with Posen, Kopec said. He has worked in several area departments and trained other firefighters in the region. He has worked for the past seven years for the Chicago Fire Department and continues to serve as the regional Illinois Fire Service Institute training coordinator for suburban Cook County.

Kopec noted the brief program to recognize the promotion and new hire is a tradition that goes back “many, many years.” Following LoGalbo’s administration of the oaths, Mayor Michelle Nelson presented the men with their official appointment paperwork. Loved ones then pinned badges to the firefighters. Finally, they were presented with their service helmets.

Amendment gives police ability to cite for Class B, C misdemeanors
The Flossmoor Village Board voted unanimously to amend its municipal code to give police the authority to cite — rather than arrest — for Class B and C misdemeanors ahead of changes mandated by an Illinois House Bill that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

The state changes prevent police officers from physically taking into custody those who allegedly commit Class B or C misdemeanors such as trespassing, criminal damage to property and endangerment. Police Chief Tod Kamleiter said those particular crimes could have been problematic for Flossmoor, as officers previously had no other enforcement or charging process without an amendment to the ordinance to allow for citations.

The citations are to be adjudicated through a local hearing process rather than going before the Cook County Court system, according to Kamleiter’s report to the board. The amendment gives police another way to handle crimes such as retail theft, he added.

The upcoming requirement from the state also means citations rather than arrests for alleged traffic offenders involved in Class B or C misdemeanors, as long as they pose no threat to the community, Kamleiter explained. If there is sufficient evidence, higher charges can be sought when someone poses a threat, he wrote.

Easements approved to continue drainage improvement work
The village board voted 4-0 to approve five temporary and permanent drainage easements under its consent agenda to make way for the Evans Road and Douglas Avenue Drainage Improvements Project.

Trustee Brian Driscoll was abstained from the entire consent agenda after he asked to abstain from a particular item pertaining to the Knights of Columbus’ Tag Day because of a conflict of interest. But he voiced his support for the rest of the measures under the consent agenda.