FOREST VIEW, Ill. - There is a hairy controversy in southwest suburban Forest View after the police chief invited a hairstylist into the cop shop despite the COVID-19 lockdown.
The well-intentioned gesture backfired after people complained about health concerns.
With barbershops and hair salons closed under Governor JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, we are all looking a bit shaggy these days.
"Everybody needs haircuts. Everybody does. You can't even get a haircut anymore,” said Forest View Trustee Rich Hubacek.
But the village trustees in Forest View say the police chief had no business turning the station into a barbershop for his personal hair stylist.
In late March, Police Chief Gary Wiseman sent an email to his officers saying, "If you are in need of a haircut, I know I am, I can get a hairstylist to come to the police department to carry out that service."
Three officers paid $30 each for haircuts in the chief's office, despite the fact Village Hall is closed to the public.
"With the virus going on, you don't know if she's been checked, had her temperature. Don't know if she's been contaminated with anybody. For me, it's just not right for her to come in,” Hubacek said.
On May 5, the police chief sent another email saying his hairstylist would be, "Here tomorrow at 10 o'clock for me. If you wish to join in..."
"It's just funny how some people can get away with things and other people can't,” said Forest View Trustee Jim Sudkamp.
When an officer raised concerns with the village board, Chief Wiseman sent a scathing email to his department accusing the officer of cowardice. But now, he's backing off.
"Yes, he apologized to me several times already,” said Village President Lawrence Powell.
Powell questions the political motives of the complaining trustees, saying it was a well-intentioned effort by the chief to help his officers.
Still, the haircuts at the cop shop have been shut down for good.
“The village administrator and myself have taken measures to make sure it doesn't happen again,” Powell said.