Trial by fire for new Fox Point police chief

Sept. 3, 2014

Fox Point — When Tom Czaja retired as Fox Point's police chief after 18 years, Fox Point's acting Capt. Chris Freedy was appointed as acting chief on Aug. 6.

Eight days later, on Aug. 14, Fox Point experienced an extremely rare shooting death in which armed robber Joshua Drake was shot by an employee at Innovative Optique. While much of the investigative work was handed over to the Department of Criminal Investigations, Acting Chief Freedy found himself in the rare position of giving media interviews and working with state investigators on the scene of a major crime.

"Most of my job was acting as a coordinator and delegating work to people with experience," he said. "It doesn't matter whether it was the sixth day on the job or the sixth year on the job, that doesn't affect the way we work together in the North Shore."

Freedy's handling of the Innovative Optique shooting was cited as a reason behind the Fox Point Police Commission's decision to forego a formal search for a new police chief. The commission voted on Aug. 21 to hire Freedy as the village's next police chief, according to Stephen Kravit, the commission's president.

Freedy has been with the Fox Point Police Department for 17 years. In May, he was promoted from sergeant to acting captain. Freedy has graduated from the FBI Academy and the Northwestern University police management program.

The shooting at Innovative Optique wasn't Freedy's only exposure to armed robberies or intense police work. In 2009, Freedy was one of three officers to receive Commendations of Valor for an officer-involved shooting following an armed robbery at at the old Cornerstone Bank at 8607 N. Port Washington Road. The suspect, Joshua Black, got four shots off before officers returned fire and killed him.

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