New Police Chief Says Department Needs Stability

Chief Randy McKinley started Jan. 21 and is expected to be sworn in Feb. 5.

On Feb. 5, Mayor Sally Faith will swear in the third leader for the St. Charles Police Department in less than a year. 

New Police Chief Randy McKinley started with the city Jan. 21. He previously served as police chief in Bloomington, Ill. for four years

McKinley's hire was approved by the St. Charles City Council in December after a six month search. Last April, Chief Dennis Corley resigned after the St. Charles Police Association gave him a vote of no confidence. Corley had been chief since 2007. 

The city also considered hiring Larry Stulce, who served as interim police chief during the search.

On Friday, McKinley said his first week with the city was filled with lots of meetings including one with area police chiefs. 

"I can't help but be excited about being here," he said. "I do think there needs to be some stability here. It took them a long time to decide, now that they've got that done, I hope to be able to take the next few months and get to know the department and the city." 

City Administrator Michael Spurgeon said he wants McKinley to meet with key members of the community including SSM St. Joseph Health Center President Gaspare Calvaruso, Lindenwood University President James Evans and City of St. Charles School District Superintendent Jeff Marion.

Spurgeon said he expects McKinley to take some time to assess operations and make decisions about how to focus his first few months. 

McKinley said he'll be relying heavily on majors, captains and lieutenants in the department to help make decisions on personnel matters until he gets to know everyone. 

"I'm getting to know St. Charles and I'm liking what I'm seeing," he said. 

McKinley said he has moved to St. Charles from Bloomington, but he has a wife who is still working there and a daughter who is finishing college.

There are similarities between Bloomington, Ill. and St. Charles. The 2011 population for Bloomington is 77,071, according to the U.S. Census figures; the population for St. Charles in 2011 was 66,598.

"The biggest thing I've noticed is that the metro area here is considerably larger," he said. "Whereas St. Charles may not be as large as Bloomington, the metro area is booming." 

Both cities boast a college population and McKinley said the police department in Bloomington has faced similar issues in the entertainment district that St. Charles faces in the Main Street area. 

"I've got a lot of information that we can talk about," he said. 

David C. Couper January 29, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Improving police and their accountability, and selecting and evaluating their leaders is a daunting task (but not one that should be selecting three chiefs in less than a year!). But it's not an impossible one. And we will all benefit from continued effort to do it. Most people know little about police and what they should expect from them. Follow my blog at http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com for answers and where I discuss even more issues facing police and how improvements that are made can be sustained! After all, we all want police in our communities who are well-trained, controlled in their use of force, honest, courteous to every one of us, and closely connected to the communities they serve. Right?


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