City of Champaign Releases List of Finalists for Police Chief

November 30, 2011

The city of Champaign has revealed the four finalists vying for the top job with its police department.

Those being considered as the next Champaign police chief are Urbana Assistant Chief of Police Anthony Cobb; Oak Forest, Illinois Chief of Police Gregory Anderson; St. Louis, Missouri Police Lieutenant Colonel Antoinette Filla; and East Lansing, Michigan Police Captain Kim Johnson.

The police force in Champaign has faced heavy criticism in the last few years over police-community relations, specifically in the African American community.

There have been new calls for a citizens police review board in the wake of the 2009 police shooting death of teenager, Kiwane Carrington. A number of citizens also allege officers used excessive force when arresting two African American youths in the last couple of months.

Two of the people being considered to head the police department - Cobb and Johnson - are African American.

Current Police Chief R.T. Finney announced last summer that he was retiring, and Deputy Chief Holly Nearing will take over him on an interim basis starting next week.

The four finalists will be interviewed Dec. 7 - 9. They will also take part in a public forum Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7pm at the city building. Champaign Human Resources Director Chris Bezruki said the new police chief is expected to begin work in February or March.

Story source: WILL