Sept. 10, 2018 – With a competitive search underway to find Oak Park’s 13th police chief since the Village was incorporated in 1902, residents, business operators and individuals who work here are invited to weigh in on the qualities they believe are most important in the community’s next top law enforcement official.
An online survey posted at www.oak-park.us/chiefsearch through Sun., Sept. 23 allows residents to share their views on a range of attributes they believe candidates for the Oak Park post should possess. The survey also asks about issues they think the new chief will face and expectations for communications with the public.
“The next Oak Park chief of police will be responsible for continuing the high-quality law enforcement services provided today by more than 150 men and women as well as ensuring that Oak Park Police officers continue to believe in the dignity of all people,” said Oak Park Manager Cara Pavlicek, who has the responsibility under Village Code to hire the Police Chief.
“Input from the public is important to make sure that the candidates considered understand the community and have a sense of what the residents expect from them and the department they are being considered to lead.”
The brief survey, estimated to take only minutes to complete, is just one part of the search process, according to Pavlicek. The process also will include a competitive examination, background screening and reference checks of qualified candidates.
A small number of finalists then will be interviewed by panels representing residents, community leaders, youth, senior Village staff and the Village Manager, who will make the final selection.
“The process is necessarily rigorous,” Pavlicek said. “Being a part of the Village management team and leading a police department requires an extraordinary blend of training, experience and leadership skills.”
The recent retirement of Police Chief Anthony Ambrose precipitated the need to immediately begin a formal search, according to Pavlicek.
Ambrose, a 34-year-plus veteran of the Oak Park Police Department, had been on medical leave since April. Deputy Police Chief LaDon Reynolds, who joined the Oak Park Police Department in 1994, has been in charge of the department since. Reynolds will continue to serve as interim police chief until a new chief is hired, Pavlicek said.
Residents who wish to keep abreast of the search process are invited to sign up for Village enews at www.oak-park.us/enews and follow the Village on social media at www.facebook.com/vopnews and twitter.com/vopnews for updates. Information also will be posted at www.oak-park.us.