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Longtime police officer hits the road on new venue–retirement

by Bonnie MacKay                                            
For a lifelong Lombardian, his recent retirement means new avenues to travel and maybe a few new hats to wear.
Lombard Police Lt. Dave Kundrot, 55, recently retired after a 33-year career in law enforcement. His first job with the village was through the co-operative education program while he attended Glenbard East High School.
Kundrot related that he would attend classes until about 1 p.m. and then went to the old village hall and police department on North Park Avenue in downtown Lombard.
“Carol Bauer was my first boss,” he quipped. Bauer recently was recognized for her 50 years of service to the village, where she began her career as a police dispatcher.
She explained that she would have Kundrot do errands, make copies or set up the board room. He said he also did odd jobs around the village hall and police department and handled the mail.
“I would ride home with dad at 5 p.m. because he was a detective at the time,” Kundrot recalled.
His father, Chuck Kundrot, retired from the department in 1986 as a lieutenant after more than two decades of service.
“I retired 26 Lilac Parades later,” the senior Kundrot said. “No, I actually worked 27 parades, as I worked the parade as a Lombard reserve officer.”
After high school, Kundrot said he tried a number of jobs in the trades, but was always laid off. At that point he decided to go into law enforcement, “because the government doesn’t lay people off.”
By the time his father retired, Kundrot had been a deputy with the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office since 1982.
“Former DuPage County Sheriff Richard Doria called me in 1982, put me on the street and gave me my chance,” Kundrot recalled.
His first call after training was for a burglary at the former Cock and Bull restaurant in West Chicago.
He related that the suspects were later stopped in Glendale Heights.
With his father retired, Kundrot  tested for the Lombard department and became a Lombard police officer in 1987.
By 1988, Kundrot was a K-9 handler and began working with his partner, Bill, a German shepherd from Germany.
“I started training dogs even before I worked here,” he said, adding that he was  friends with former Lombard Police Officer Jim Schweihs, a K-9 handler.
“He [Schweihs] said, ‘we need a bad guy,’ so I said I’ll do it,” he related, adding that he worked with the department’s K-9 program from 1988-90.
In the mid-90s, Kundrot said he and a few other officers went to a Citizens Police Academy (CPA) symposium to find out information about the program.
“We went to find out about the program and it took off from there,” he said.
The Lombard department began holding its own CPA in 1997, with curriculum that contains a condensed version of basic police training and practical exercises. Kundrot served as the coordinator for the program from 1999 to 2004 and again in 2012.
As an instructor for the CPA, Kundrot gave the recruits a glimpse into investigations, interviews/interrogations, and defensive tactics. He served as a defensive tactics training coordinator from 1997-2003.
In 2003, Kundrot became a Taser instructor and was a master Taser instructor from 2006-10.
During a 2004 interview, former Lombard Police Deputy Chief Dane Cuny said the idea to bring the Taser to the department “came to light” when he rode with a fellow police officer in Florida, who was his roommate at the FBI Academy a few years earlier.
“When the program started, we had 10 Tasers and we passed them around,” Kundrot recalled, saying that each Lombard officer had a taser during his/her shift.
Today, the department has 70 Tasers and each officer has his/her own, according to Kundrot.
By the beginning of August 2004, more than 30 officers had been certified by Kundrot, with the entire department, including supervisors and detectives to be certified by mid-month.
The former police officer said with the use of Tasers, the number of injuries to both officers and subjects went down dramatically.
Kundrot was appointed to the department’s Investigations Unit in November 1995 and served there until April 1996, when he was promoted to sergeant and went back out on the street.
From February 1999 to February 2001, he served as supervisor of the Investigation Unit, where he recalled a number of cases such as a murder for hire and arson.
Although Kundrot has lived his entire life in Lombard, sometimes it could be hard for him as he would have to arrest someone he knew or make a death notification.
“You pretend nothing bothers you and it does,” he said, adding that he is big on using humor to relieve stress.
Kundrot, who was promoted to lieutenant in September 2015, said he wanted to retire as a lieutenant so he could hang out with his father and father-in-law, who both retired from police departments as lieutenants.
“We’ll let him in the club,” said the senior Kundrot. “I’m proud. He followed in my footsteps real well.”
“To the very end of my career, I still met people who knew my dad,” Kundrot said.
Kundrot said his dad wants to place  his retirement photo (above) next to his own retirement photo.
Now that Kundrot is up to 52 weeks of  vacation a year, he said he would like to travel more, ride his Harley and spend some time in Florida, but is planning to stay in Lombard.
And even though he has retired, there are a number of things that will still keep him busy including his post as  commissioner with the Lombard Board of Park Commissioners.
“My job was the best job in the world and the village took care of me for 30 years,” he said. “Why can’t I give back to the village?”
Looking back over his career, Kundrot said, “It was a good run. I wouldn’t change a thing and I’d do it again tomorrow.”


Inland Bank in Lombard robbed

by Bonnie MacKay                         
A Lombard bank was hit by a robber Monday afternoon, who escaped with an undetermined amount of cash.
According to Lombard Police Detective Lt. Cyndy Abenante, a male subject entered Inland Bank, 837 S. Westmore, Lombard, and reportedly demanded money from a teller. The detective said the male subject allegedly implied that he had a weapon and was given an undetermined amount of currency.
The subject reportedly fled on foot from the scene and police were dispatched to the bank at about 4:14 p.m.
Lombard patrol officers and detectives, as well as FBI agents, were at the scene Monday afternoon.
An Arlington Heights K-9 team responded to the crime scene to conduct a track in an attempt to locate the subject. The lieutenant related that the K-9 tracked from the bank to a parking lot on East Jackson.
Lombard officers asked for assistance from the Lombard Fire Department to ladder the DuPage County Health Department building at 1111 E. Jackson so they could search the roof. According to Velazquez, nothing was recovered from the roof.
However, police did recover evidence and some currency in the area, the lieutenant said.
Officers did canvass the neighborhood near the health department and the shopping center. Investigators also checked for video surveillance tapes from area businesses and neighbors.
The subject, who was described as a white male, between 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall, thin and approximately 30 to 40 years of age. He was wearing a baggy yellow plaid shirt and baggy yellow pants.
Anyone who may have seen the suspect in the area or with information about the armed robbery is asked to contact Lombard police at 630-873-4400.


Lombard police make prostitution arrest at hotel

by Bonnie MacKay                         
A Rockford woman was charged with prostitution at a Lombard hotel last week.
Lombard police were called to Extended Stay, 260 E. 22nd St., shortly before 10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17.  A complainant called 9-1-1 to advise that a female subject reportedly had grabbed him around the neck, attempted to take his wallet and fled the area with his cell phone.
Lombard officers located Asia Morgan, 22, as well as a 25-year-old Freeport man and a 13-year-old female juvenile, who had been reported as a runaway, said Lombard Police Detective Lt. Cyndy Velazquez.
Morgan was charged with prostitution, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and theft. She also was arrested on an outstanding warrant and transported to DuPage County Jail in Wheaton.
As of press time, Morgan was being held at the jail in lieu of $5,000 bond.


Memorial Day ceremony to be held at noon May 30

The Village of Lombard is inviting residents, veterans of the armed services and local scouts to attend this year’s annual Memorial Day program, Monday, May 30 at noon, at the Veterans Memorial in the Sunken Garden at Common Park, located near St. Charles and Grace.
Members of the Lombard Veterans of Foreign Wars Lilac Post #5815, the Lombard American Legion Memorial Post #391, Lombard Historical Society, local scouts, students of Glenbard East and Montini Catholic high schools as well as local residents will be participating in the program.
The featured speaker of the day will be Post #5815 member Peter Gilea, a World War II tank commander. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Lombard Memorial Marker, which contains the names of Lombard residents who served or were killed in the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II and Vietnam War. No Lombard residents are recorded as being killed in the Korean War.
Attendees are asked to walk to the program, if they are able, and to bring a lawn chair if they would like to sit. Following the ceremony the Lombard VFW Lilac Post #5815 will be posting the colors and completing a Rifle Salute at the Lombard Cemetery on Main Street.
In the event of severe weather, the village’s Memorial Day Program will be held indoors in the Community Room at Lombard’s Village Hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave. Anyone with questions can contact Lombard Police Sgt. William Marks at 630-873-4446.

 
   
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