Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

For the past year, the Northbrook police and fire departments have seen major changes in their managerial ranks as some officials retired and others were promoted.

The Northbrook Fire Department has promoted administrative officials 17 times since last summer, said Fire Chief Andrew Carlson. Some employees were promoted twice within that time frame. Carlson for example was promoted to deputy chief and then chief, he said. The promotions in the fire department led to six new hires, all firefighters and paramedics, and the department will hire two more firefighters and paramedics in October.

Since he was appointed in January, Carlson said the fire department has spent a lot of time reviewing previous procedures to increase efficiency. In May, the department reverted back to its previous policy of having two deputy chiefs, which also contributed to the fire department promotions this year. Moving forward, the department will spend time doing a data analysis to have the ability to predict where call volumes will come from.

In the Northbrook Police Department, the retirement of eight administrative positions led to multiple shifts within the department.

All of the promotions have been internal, which benefits the departments because the officials moving up in rank have institutional, community and procedural knowledge. Most promotions are a result of a retirements after serving the community for the majority of their career. The departments can see multiple retirements in a given year because a lot of employees are hired at the same time early on in their career and stay with the department for decades.

As police and fire officials move through the ranks, the departments need to hire new officers and firefighter/paramedics. Following state statutes, both departments partner with agencies in neighboring communities to test candidates looking for police and fire jobs.

The departments work with the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to select which candidates to hire based on the initial test scores, interviews, and other department requirements, like a polygraph, Adkins said. Both departments are required to administer the test every two years, so if a position opens they have lists of potential candidates.

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