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City eyes chief search firm

September 19, 2018

KANKAKEE — The search for a police chief search firm seems to have concluded as the Kankakee City Council likely will hire the Lansing, Ill.-firm REM Management Services.

The council listened to a presentation from the firm at Monday’s Kankakee City Council meeting and is expected to vote on hiring the firm at its Oct. 1 meeting.

The firm set a price of $18,500 for the nationwide search.

Dan McDevitt, a principal with the firm and a 24-year member of the Illinois State Police, said the search could be completed within three months. After the meeting, Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong placed the timeline at three to six months.

The firm last worked with the city when it hired former Police Chief Bill Doster in 1994.

After Doster’s retirement, Kankakee hired Deputy Chief Mike Kinkade and then Deputy Chief Larry Regnier as chiefs.

The department has been without a permanent chief since Regnier’s April 2017 retirement.

The department has had a series of acting chiefs: Robin Passwater, Price Dumas and current acting chief Willie Hunt.

Wells-Armstrong said the money would come from the savings the city negotiated regarding reimbursement payments to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

In addition to McDevitt, the search firm also consists of Mark Field and Laurence Mulcrone. Field, a former deputy chief of administrative services with the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department, was police chief for Wheaton from 1991 to 2015.

The city council majority and the mayor had been at odds regarding the hiring of a police chief since the start of her four-year term on May 1, 2017. She appointed Dumas in June 2017, but repeated attempts to have him named police chief failed.

Dumas resigned Aug. 16.

McDevitt said in addition to the city council, the police and fire commission and police personnel, members from the community also would be involved in the search.

He said a town hall-type meeting could be held to gain input from the community on this nationwide search.

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