A movement within the ranks of the Elmwood Park Police Department was recognized during a recent Village Board meeting.
On July 7 the board voted unanimously to approve the promotions of Elmwood Park Police Sgt. Matthew Rieger to watch commander and patrol officer Christopher Pankey to patrol sergeant.
Elmwood Park Police Chief Frank Fagiano said both officers are seasoned veterans in the department and will do well in their new positions.
“Cmdr. Rieger will do an outstanding job,” he said. “He has been on the job for 19 years.”
Rieger became a bit emotional when he stepped up to the podium to give his remarks after being sworn into his new position. He thanked his coworkers as well as his wife and family for their support over the years.
“Sometimes you have to work on birthdays and holidays,” he said. “I’m a very lucky guy.”
Prior to his promotion, Rieger had been a patrol sergeant since 2003, but was always ambitious.
“I’ve loved the job since day one and it was always the goal to be promoted,” he said.”I was ready for the next step.”
Pankey, a patrol officer for 18 years, also took on other responsibilities within the police department, one of which was an evidence technician.
“I want to thank President [Angelo “Skip”] Saviano and Chief Fagiano for all of their support over my 18 years on the force,” he said.
Elmwood Park Trustee Anthony “Tony” Del Santo, is a chief in the electronic monitoring unit for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department and, having interacted with Rieger professionally in the past, said he would do a good job.
“He’s well deserving of this,” he said.
Fagiano said both officers began working under their new titles July 1 and the official swearing in of the two was a formality. He said now that these two positions have been filled, the police department is on solid ground.
“This puts everyone in their place,” he said. “Everyone knows their position now.”