Chief yet to get council’s approval

July 29, 2018

Even before the latest controversy, Kankakee Police Chief Price Dumas’ status with the city already was in question.

Three times, the City Council voted down Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong’s appointment of Dumas. She has kept him on. Now, he is facing questions about why he searched the names of two mayoral critics in the state’s criminal database.

Dumas became Kankakee’s acting chief in June 2017 when then-interim Chief Robin Passwater resigned. Kankakee has been without a permanent chief since the April 2017 retirement of Chief Larry Regnier.

In January, the council rejected Dumas with an 8-6 vote. The other two votes were in June and August 2017, with 10-4 and 8-6 votes against Dumas, respectively. Some council members have discussed enacting an ordinance limiting how long someone can serve as interim chief.

Dumas is a former 13-year Kankakee patrolman who left the city force in 2006 to join the state police three years after joining a failed lawsuit that charged Kankakee with racial discrimination.

Ald. Fred Tetter, D-7, has voted for Dumas all three times and stands behind him. The council, he said, should have given Dumas a chance.

“That’s the mayor’s choice,” he said.

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