Jump over the site's section navigation.

Final Chief of Police Candidates Greet Community At Reception

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 22:21:59 CDT
By: Rachel Darling

Final Chief of Police Candidates Greet Community At Reception The City of Bloomington has narrowed its national search for a new Chief of Police from 50 candidates to six. Five panels met August 2 to review the final six candidates. A City panel, Executive Relationship panel, Diversity panel, Community Stake Holder panel and Police Department panel assessed the finalists.

The six final candidates (in alphabetical order): Brendan Heffner, Ken Magee, Jim O'Grady, Maury Richards, internal candidate Clay Wheeler and Darryl Winston were introduced by John Kennedy with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) and Bloomington City Manager David Hales, at a reception at the Double Tree Hotel, on the same day.

For the last thirty years Bloomington has hired internally to fill the Chief of Police position. Brendan Heffner of Bloomington has lived and served in Bloomington since he graduated from Illinois State University. Heffner says hiring someone who has lived in Bloomington has benefits for the community...


"I think anytime you're a local you do probably have a better perspective of things, then someone coming from the outside, because all they can do is go by what they've read in the newspapers or what they've heard."

Ken Magee of Ann Arbor, Michigan has worked as a detective and federal agent in and outside of the United States. Magee says the key to making changes in a community is providing visible leadership, by being out and about in the community...


"If I live in a bubble and stay away from them I will not be an effective leader. And I've never done that and I will always engage because, I find that it's the most effective way to communicate and to do my job as an effective leader."

James "Jim" O'Grady from Chicago was an attorney for the Chicago Police Department and worked in internal affairs, legal affairs and narcotics. O'Grady says police departments must change to adapt to changes in youth behavior to counteract negative influences in the community. This includes utilizing and understanding popular online networks...


"Social media is huge. Facebook, Twitter, I mean, gang members conduct shootings and then talk about it openly on Facebook. Just like they use to write their gang symbols on a garage wall or a garbage can, now they're just putting it in a video or putting it into a rap song."

Maurice "Maury" Richards currently serves as a lieutenant of Police in Chicago. Richards says he would emphasize community involvement and open communication between the community and the police department to deal with youth and alcohol-related crime...


"I really believe that the police are part of the community, that we're responsible to be accountable to the community, but that there has to be a partnership and the community also has responsibility to work together to make our neighborhoods safer, stronger and more livable."

Clay Wheeler has worked in the Bloomington Police Department for 22 years and is currently the Assistant Chief of Police. Wheeler says tackling growing youth-crime requires the creation of outlets for Bloomington's young people...


"We've been trying to reach out and form relationships so, that we can start programs to find something for the youth to do to try to get them away from some of the activities they've been doing."

Darryl Winston from Milwaukee, Wisconsin has been in the Milwaukee Police department for just under 29 years and has worked in patrol, investigations and served on various community and youth-agency boards. Winston says to support their communities local police departments must work together and have greater transparency...


"People may lay their heard in Normal and come in Bloomington and sell drugs. You've got to open that transparency and able to share that information. There's no secrets. We're all in law enforcement together. We've got to share that information so, there's got to be more --continually more."

The ILACP will also conduct an assessment via a panel on Saturday August 3 made of police chiefs from departments outside of the Bloominton-Normal area, save for interim Chief of Police R.T. Finney. The candidates will also be reviews by three assessors, who will produce a ranked evaluation of the candidates within three business days says Kennedy.

Final Candidate Darryl Winston speaks with community members.


Support Your Public Radio Station