New Indian Head Park Police Chief Michael Kurinec. (Supplied photo)

New Indian Head Park Police Chief Michael Kurinec. (Supplied photo)

Kurinec takes reins as Indian Head Park police chief

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By Carol McGowan

Michael Kurinec is the new Chief of Police in Indian Head Park.

He recently moved into the position when Steven Stelter accepted the Chief of Police Position in Forest View.

Kurinec isn’t new to the village as he was the first officer hired by the newly formed Indian Head Park Police & Fire Commission back in 1979.  After working in that position for four years, he left to work for the Willowbrook Police Department where he stayed for 28 years before retiring in 2011.

He wore many hats over the years in Willowbrook.

“I filled a variety of positions starting out as a patrol officer and later advancing to be a detective. My management years started when I was promoted in 1996 to the tested rank of commander.”

After a few months into retirement back in 2011, Kurinec kiddingly said he was driving his wife crazy, and decided to go back to work part-time to keep him busy.

“I started to deliver auto parts, which was very boring. In the spring of 2012, the chief of the Naperville Park District Police Department called, asking me to come work for him. I returned to law enforcement where I patrolled the park district by using a bicycle, an ATV, or a squad car.”

There is a funny story on how Kurinec got back involved with Indian Head Park.

“While still delivering auto parts, I happened to be speeding on Joliet Road and was stopped by one of the IHP officers. Fortunately, I knew him and he let me go with just a warning ticket, but he did tell me that I should come work at IHPPD as a part-time officer instead of delivering parts. The rest in history.”

“I returned to IHP as a part-time officer in 2013 and became full time in 2016, leaving the park district to devote my time to IHP. In 2019, I was appointed as the commander, and then in 2020, appointed as the deputy chief in a newly created position.”

Kurinec was sworn in as the new chief last month, after Stelter left.

Kurinec is proud of some new things happening within the department.

“We are coming into the 21st century with electronic ticketing, and electronic accident reporting should be rolled out April 1.”

He oversees seven full-time officers, and 12 part-time officers.

Kurinec takes pride in being community oriented, and is big into getting out into the community and getting to know business owners and residents.

“I’ve always been an open person.  When I started in Indian Head Park, I would go into stores and talk with merchants to get to know them.  They appreciated that.”

“We have a wonderful community of people that like our department and have in-turn been good to us.  We have had anonymous donations that have allowed us to purchase AED’s, which the officers take with them on patrol, in addition to some free weights, and an elliptical for our officers to work out with when they’re off duty.”

Kurinec and his wife, Laura, have been married for 41 years.  They have two adult sons, who also work in law enforcement, and four grandchildren that keep them busy.

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