Kankakee finally fills police chief post

May 7, 2019

KANKAKEE — After nearly two years without a permanent police chief, Kankakee finally has the position filled.

By a 13-0 vote on Monday, the Kankakee City Council approved Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong’s appointment of Frank Kosman as the leader of the city’s police department.

Chief of the Bensenville Police Department in suburban Chicago from 2002 until his retirement in November 2018, Kosman, 59, officially takes over his newest duties on May 16. He had been with the Bensenville department since 1984.

Contract details are being finalized. The position was posted with a minimum salary of $130,000.

Kosman took the oath of office immediately after being voted into the position.

After the lengthy council meeting, Kosman said being from the suburbs, he was aware of Kankakee and viewed the city’s chief opening as a great opportunity.

“I wanted to stay in law enforcement. I’m looking forward to the opportunity with the city of Kankakee,” he said.

The only council member who didn’t vote for Kosman was new 6th Ward representative Mike Cobbs.

Cobbs, who was attending his first meeting as an elected representative, abstained from the vote because he was not involved in the interview and selection process.

Kosman’s appointment was brought up for vote after being motioned by 3rd Ward Alderman Larry Osenga, a former commander with the city police department, and seconded by 7th Ward Alderman Carl Brown, also a longtime member of law enforcement.

The city had been without a permanent police chief since then-Chief Larry Regnier retired the day after Mayor Nina Epstein was defeated by Wells-Armstrong in the April 2017 municipal election.

Wells-Armstrong attempted to have former city police officer and Illinois State Trooper Price Dumas appointed, but failed on numerous occasions to gain council support.

Dumas left the department in August 2018. Deputy Chief Willie Hunt has been the department’s acting chief since that time.