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Evanston police chief heading for retirement

By Dan Campana

Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington recently announced 2018 will be his last as the north suburban department’s top cop.

Eddington, who marks his 44th year in law enforcement on July 30, joined Evanston as its chief in 2007 as part of a career that included time with the Roselle Police Department – where he rose through the ranks from patrol officer to chief – and several years with the Mount Prospect Police Department.

“Chief Eddington has served the City of Evanston with honor and distinction for more than 11 years and the greater Chicagoland area for more than 40 years,” Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said in a statement. “Evanston is a safer community thanks to his outstanding leadership.”

During Eddington’s tenure, Evanston reported a 39 percent decrease in major and violent crimes as defined by the FBI. Those gains have come through both intelligence-led police operations and collaborations with federal partners on long-term investigations focused on drug sales and gun crimes, the city reported. De-escalation training and establishing a body camera program also were part of his approach.

Eddington’s leadership emphasized a strengthening of community-police relations by bringing back foot patrols and green-lighting the Officer and Gentlemen Academy youth mentoring program and the re-establishment of the Evanston Police Department Explorers program.

His retirement takes effect at year’s end.

ISP K-9 latest to get donated protective vest

The nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s has once again provided a bullet and stab protective vest to a local K-9 unit thanks to a Chicago-area sponsor.

Bullet, a two-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois, is based in Illinois State Police District 15 with handler Trooper Stephanie Purtell. They have been a K-9 team since March 2017. Bullet’s patrol functions range from narcotics to apprehension, according to the state police.

The vest was sponsored by Cathy Stein, of Lincolnwood, and will be embroidered with the words “In memory of Ruger.” Bullet will receive his vest within the next two months.

Vested Interest in K9s was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, the organization has provided over 3,000 protective vests in 50 states through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the United States with law enforcement, or related agencies, who are certified and at least 20 months old. New K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

Several Chicago-area K-9s have been recent recipients of vests through the program in the last year.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office back on the small screen

Coming off the popularity of its appearance on the popular “Live PD” show in 2017, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will make its return to TV on the Lifetime network’s “Women on Patrol.”

Crews began riding with the sheriff’s office’s highway patrol division earlier this week. Sheriff Mark Curran said he was looking forward to giving a national audience another glimpse into the work done by deputies.

“Live PD was a great success in giving the community an inside look at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and this is another opportunity to do the same. I have the utmost confidence in our employees and I am excited to see our staff featured on ‘Women on Patrol,’” Curran offered.

“Women on Patrol” airs at 8 p.m. on Mondays on Lifetime.