It’s been a few weeks since Oak Park Police Chief Anthony Ambrose announced his plans to retire from the position, and the village will begin searching for his replacement in September.

Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said in a telephone interview that the search will include input from the community as well as village staff and local and state law enforcement officials.

LaDon Reynolds has served as acting police chief since Ambrose took a leave of absence in late April when he was diagnosed with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, also known as NASH.

She said the village will make available to residents a survey tool asking them what attributes they would like to see in a police chief.

Pavlicek said the search also will include an internal survey of Oak Park Police Department staff. A panel of law enforcement officials — particularly police chiefs from other communities — also will review the applicants for the chief position and provide feedback to the village. 

That could happen sometime in October, Pavlicek said. 

Agencies that conduct searches for law-enforcement officials also will conduct mental health evaluations on prospective candidates to determine whether they have the leadership skills and traits necessary for the position, Pavlicek said.

Pavlicek described Ambrose as a wonderful chief, noting that it always was intended to be about a two-year assignment. 

“It took a detour toward the end that I don’t think anybody saw coming,” she said, noting that Ambrose is “on the road to getting healthy.”

Ambrose ends his 34-year position with the village on the last day of August.


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