Veteran law enforcement officer Jeremy Douglas is the city of Watseka's new police chief. The 18-year member of the Watseka force was appointed Tuesday night by Mayor Bob Harwood with a 6-1 vote show of support from the city council.
Douglas was favored in a field of three final candidates. The consensus of the council was to stay with someone familiar with the community, although Mayor Hawood said the other two were also excellent candidates.
Alderman Marvin Purvis cast the lone No vote, saying Douglas will have his support, but he favored the idea of bringing some new ideas in from the outside. Purvis said he believes an outside perspective could also help the local officers.
Nonetheless, now-Chief Douglas said he appreciates the community support shown to him over the last few months.
Past police chiefs have had presence on patrol in addition to the administrative duties. Douglas says he won't hide in any office.
"I will be on the street. I like being on the street with my guys and mixing it up with the public," Douglas said after Tuesday's appointment. "I don't like sitting behind a desk, that's not me."
Mayor Harwood liked the outside candidates but also says he has complete confidence in Douglas. The mayor and Douglas will talk about some goals and future direction.
Douglas had been serving as interim-chief since former Police Chief Roger Lebeck retired in January. Chief Douglas also now sheds his past title of Sergeant.