MORTON — Morton's longtime police chief apparently is no longer employed by the village.
Craig Hilliard's name and photo have been removed from the village's website.
Village Administrator Julie Smick said Wednesday she can't respond to questions regarding Hilliard's employment. Mayor Jeff Kaufman and Village Attorney Pat McGrath did not respond to requests for comments.
Hilliard was present at the Morton Village Board's June 1 meeting. He was not at Monday's board meeting.
Jason Miller is Morton's deputy police chief. It isn't known if he has inherited Hilliard's duties.
Hillard was hired as Morton's police chief Dec. 5, 2011. He had served as interim chief since the Aug. 31, 2011, retirement of former chief Nick Graff, who was the chief for 23 years.
No other candidates to replace Graff were interviewed.
Hilliard became a full-time member of the Morton Police Department in 1986.
The lifelong Morton resident and 1978 Morton High School graduate joined his hometown police department as an auxiliary officer in 1983.
He was hired as a full-time officer in 1986, became the department's first community policing officer in 1996, and was promoted to sergeant in 1998 and deputy chief in 2008.
In 1997, he was named the American Legion Department of Illinois Police Officer of the Year.
In an interview with the Journal Star on the night in 2011 that he was hired as police chief by the Village Board, Hilliard said being a police officer in his hometown has its advantage and disadvantages.
"But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages," he said. "I understand the residents' sense of community because I'm one of them."
Hilliard earned an associates degree in police science from Illinois Central College and a bachelor's degree in management from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
He's also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.