May 18, 2023 – Bringing nearly 60 combined years of policing experience to the community, Oak Park Village Manager Kevin Jackson and Police Chief Shatonya Johnson have announced that Dave Jacobson and Roderick Robinson have each been appointed deputy chief of police.
The pair will be officially sworn in as Oak Park deputy chiefs during a ceremony at Village Hall (123 Madison St.) on Tuesday, May 23 at 5 p.m. The public event will take place in Council Chambers (room 201).
“We are so pleased to be able fill these critical roles on our command staff with such capable and collaborative leaders as Dave Jacobson and Roderick Robinson,” said Jackson. “They each bring a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge to their respective roles and we view their unique skillsets as true assets to the department and to the community at-large. Along with Chief Johnson, these outstanding leaders will guide our department forward and help Oak Park continue thrive as they work tirelessly to support the Village and navigate the opportunities and challenges before us.”
Jacobson is a familiar face having devotedly served Oak Park and its police department since 1995. Upon arrival, he spent 10 years as a patrol officer and resident beat officer before rising to the rank of patrol sergeant in 2005. In 2010, Jacobson became the community policing sergeant for the Village, a role he would flourish in for the next nine years.
In September 2018, Jacobson was named interim commander of operations, while maintaining oversight of the day-to-day operations of the community policing unit. Approximately eight months later, in May 2019, Jacobson was named patrol commander. Among his essential duties, he was responsible for day-to-day operations of a patrol platoon, multiple internal investigations, oversight of the implementation of new software and the development of numerous operational plans for various incidents and events, including COVID-19 vaccination distribution events.
Since September 2022, Jacobson has been Oak Park’s lone interim deputy chief of police, serving in a dual role with oversight of both the field services bureau and the support services bureau. He has assisted Chief Johnson with the planning and coordination of all department operations and has been intricately involved in several key initiatives, including the BerryDunn community safety project and the Village Manager’s Alternative Response to Mental Health Calls taskforce.
Jacobson has served as a department instructor on numerous topics including defensive tactics, ethics for new officers, firearms, CPR/AED, and more. He received a bachelor of applied sciences in law enforcement and administration from Western Illinois University. Jacobson also attended the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command in 2021.
“Deputy Chief Jacobson is someone who I have known well and worked beside for more than 20 years,” said Johnson. “I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the way that he has served Oak Park for decades. He puts people first and both his willingness and ability to collaborate with fellow officers, supervisors and the community are second-to-none.”
Robinson began his extensive law enforcement career with the Chicago Police Department in 1992 and he served dutifully for 30 years in a variety of positions across the city. Most recently, he was a unit commander for a community safety team as he deployed violence reduction teams and collaborated with district commanders to control crime within defined areas. Robinson was also responsible for implementing strategies to handle incidents of civil unrest and emergency mobilization preparedness across the city.
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robinson was the commander for Area 4. He established a public safety taskforce with various community outreach groups to address violence and also facilitated pandemic responses. He collaborated with SWAT, riot control teams and other tactical units, including a vehicular hijacking team established to decrease the number or such incidents in Chicago.
From 2017-20, Robinson was first a captain and later district commander in CPD’s 7th district in the Englewood neighborhood. As district commander, he created a community policing network while accomplishing the largest reduction in shootings and homicides in 20 years.
Prior to moving over to the 7th district, Robinson spent 14 years at the 11th district (Harrison) as a tactical lieutenant and sergeant. In those positions, he partnered with the University of Chicago crime lab to establish and develop a strategic decision support center.
Since 2007, he also worked as an event security supervisor at the United Center and Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Xavier University. Later, he attended the FBI National Academy.
“Deputy Chief Robinson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Oak Park,” said Johnson. “The tools he brings to the department and the community will no doubt be beneficial. His depth of knowledge when it comes to operations management, cross-function collaboration and strategic planning will help bolster our entire team.”
In his new role, Deputy Chief Jacobson will oversee support services, which includes community policing, investigations, training, evidence and records.
Deputy Chief Robinson will be responsible for overseeing field services; this includes the patrol division, parking enforcement and community service officers.
For more information about the Oak Park Police Department, visit www.oak-park.us/police, call 708.386.3800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.