March 25, 2022 – After nearly 28 years with the Oak Park Police Department, Chief LaDon Reynolds has announced his retirement effective April 15.
Reynolds, who has been Oak Park Police Chief since January 2019, said he wants to spend more time with his family and assess his future career options.
“Oak Park is a great place to be a police officer,” Reynolds said. “The community is engaged and supportive and a community policing model has always guided my sense of service here. The Village Board has made sure the department has the resources needed to keep the community safe. But it is time for me to move on and let a new generation of law enforcement professionals take the lead.”
Reynolds added, “I also want personally thank Village President Vicki Scaman and members of the Village Board, both past and present, for their support during my long career in Oak Park. And, of course, a special thanks goes out to the men and women of the Oak Park Police Department, many of whom I have known for many years. Without their support and commitment to service I could never have achieved so much in my career here.”
Oak Park Village Manager Kevin Jackson, who just this week assumed the role of top municipal administrator, said he was sorry to see Reynolds go, but understands and respects his decision to spend more time with his family.
“I have heard so many great things about Chief Reynolds. He is truly an accomplished Police professional and leader. I was really looking forward to getting to know him better,” Jackson said. “I am sure this was a carefully considered decision on his part. And I wish LaDon the best of luck in his retirement and future professional endeavors. My efforts will now turn toward identifying an interim chief and determining how best to permanently fill this critical public safety role.”
Jackson said he anticipates conducting a national recruitment for Oak Park’s next Police Chief.
“Chief Reynolds will be missed by everyone,” said Village President Vicki Scaman. “His skills, his experience and his professionalism have made the Oak Park Police Department one of the most respected in the region. He also was a joy to work with. Always on call, ready to serve and committed to the community. I know he will make us proud no matter where the future may take him.”
Retirement from the Oak Park Police Department is not likely the end of Chief Reynold’s law enforcement career. His November 2021 nomination to be U.S. Marshal of the Northern District of Illinois by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is on U.S. Senate Executive Calendar awaiting action.
Reynolds joined the Oak Park Police Department in 1994 as a patrol officer. He rose steadily through the ranks to serve as a detective, sergeant and commander before being promoted to deputy chief in 2017. He assumed the role of interim chief in April 2018 and was officially named chief in 2019.
Service always has been Reynold’s calling, he was quoted as saying when he became Police Chief in 2019.
“In the early days of my career I saw myself on the streets as a patrol officer who eventually might become a detective and a sergeant. Back then, it would have been impossible to imagine becoming chief. That’s why becoming chief of the department where I learned my trade was both humbling and exhilarating,” he said.
During his four years as Chief of Police, Reynolds said he was most proud of his efforts to introduce modern policing techniques and technology to the Oak Park Police Department. He said his efforts to make department policies, procedures and guidelines available to the public online have helped open the door even wider to Village residents who want to know the details of how the department protects and serves.
Other notable, related accomplishments of Chief Reynolds during his tenure with the Oak Park Police Department include:
- Service as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Administration program at Triton College where he has taught courses in Law Enforcement Administration and Police Community Relations;
- Service as an instructor for Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute at Western Illinois University, providing instruction in the Illinois School and Campus Safety Program and the Effective Police Supervision leadership course, where he taught modules on diversity, cultural awareness and community policing;
- Service as the Chairman of the Law Enforcement Executive Board for the Chicago FBI Regional Crime Forensics Laboratory and as a board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Metro Suburban Chapter (NAMI);
- Appointments in 2020 by Governor J. B. Pritzker to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, where he served as the chair of the sub-committee on Curriculum and School Standards, and to the Illinois Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes;
- Certification as an Ethics Instructor through the Josephson’s Institute and a certified Executive in Public Leadership through the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Program;
- Attainment of a Master of Science degree in Education and Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; and,
- Graduation from the FBI National Academy, the Senior Management Institute for Police, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute, and the Community Leadership Program at Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business.
For more information on the Oak Park Police Department, visit www.oak-park.us/police.
Oak Park Police Chief LaDon Reynolds