Chief Eddington Announces Retirement
Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington has announced his retirement from the Evanston Police Department at the end of December 2018 after more than 44 years of police service.
Chief Eddington made the announcement at a press conference Monday morning at Evanston Police and Fire Headquarters. He has served as Evanston's police chief since 2007, and will celebrate 44 years of police service on July 30, 2018.
"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," said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. "Evanston is a safer community thanks to his outstanding leadership."
During Eddington's 11-year tenure with the Evanston Police Department, Part 1 crimes have decreased by 39 percent, from 3,107 in 2007 to 1,900 in 2017. Part 1 crimes are major offenses, including murder, burglary, and assault, reported each year to the F.B.I.
Eddington credits the significant decrease in major crimes to two practices established under his leadership: refining intelligence-led policing and refocusing Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) operations. By incorporating actionable intelligence and data gathered by an intelligence officer and crime analyst into weekly deployment meetings, the department has been able to apply police resources to targeted areas, also known as hot spots, to suppress crime. Chief Eddington also assigned the Neighborhood Enforcement Team to focus on long-term investigations in tandem with federal law enforcement partners, rather than conducting street-level enforcement. This has allowed the team to complete protracted, in-depth investigations of higher level targets eligible for federal prosecution. For example, NET now pursues sellers of drugs rather than possessors, and prioritizes the prosecution of gun crimes.
Throughout his tenure at the Evanston Police Department, Chief Eddington committed to strengthening community-police relations, reinstituting foot patrol, providing de-escalation training for all officers, and implementing the department’s body-worn camera program. Eddington also oversaw the inception of the Officer and Gentlemen Academy youth mentoring program and the reestablishment of the Evanston Police Department Explorers program, building relationships and rapport with Evanston youth.
Chief Eddington began his career as a police officer for the Village of Roselle in 1974, rising to the rank of police chief in 1991. In 2001, he was hired as external chief of police for the Village of Mount Prospect to resolve a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of racial profiling. There, he instituted reforms that led to reaching a Memorandum of Understanding with the DOJ. After completing his service in Mount Prospect, Eddington was hired to become Evanston's police chief in 2007.
For more information, please call or text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.