HPD oaths of office_210427_12_web
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A changing of the police guard in Homewood


Former Homewood Police Chief Bill Alcott and new Chief Denise McGrath briefly chat before the village board meeting on Tuesday. (Andrew Burke-Stevenson/H-F Chronicle)

Homewood police department officially transferred leadership at the village board meeting Tuesday.

That began with an honoring of former Chief Bill Alcott, who retired on Feb. 26 after almost five years in the position. 

“I will vote aye (in favor of honoring Alcott) but I do it in protest because I don’t want Chief Alcott to retire,” Trustee Barbara Dawkins said. “If I don’t have the choice of him staying, then I will vote in favor of it. We’ll miss you, Bill.”

All five trustees expressed similar sentiments. Trustee Karen Washington joked that she would vote against the resolution recognizing Alcott in protest before voting in favor. 

Homewood Police Chief Denise McGrath, right, with a new leadership team, from left, Steve Brandenburger who was promoted to sergeant, and Robert Misner and Kelly Strayer, promoted to deputy chiefs. (Andrew Burke-Stevenson/H-F Chronicle)

Denise McGrath was sworn in to take over the job as top cop. She was Alcott’s deputy chief after previously working as a detective and sergeant.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity given to me by the village board, all of the trustees, the officers in the Homewood police department and of course the citizens,” McGrath said. “This is a great honor for me and I look forward to serving all of you.”

McGrath appointed Robert Misner and Kelly Strayer as deputy chiefs. Both took the oath of office Tuesday in front of a board room filled with family members.

Strayer’s worked in Homewood since 2007 after previously being with the department in Hazel Crest. She’s been a field training officer, hostage negotiator for the South Suburban Emergency Response Team, CPR instructor and field training coordinator.

Misner started in Homewood in 1997 after working in Lynwood and with the US Air Force. He’s served the village as a field training officer, detective, acting watch commander, range officer and detective sergeant.

Steven Brandenburger was promoted to sergeant to fill Strayer’s former role. He’s been with Homewood since 2010 as a tactical officer and range officer and was recently appointed as a task force officer with the Homeland Security Investigations Task Force.

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