Oak Park has a new police chief and he is a familiar face and presence in our village.
Deputy Chief LaDon Reynolds, a 24-year veteran of the department, was chosen to fill the post by Village Manager Cara Pavlicek. Reynolds was promoted after a national search for a chief. And while we are certain the search was legitimate, Reynolds has clearly had the inside line. And for good reason.
He is a seasoned officer who has steadily risen within the ranks from a rookie patrol officer in 1994 to detective, sergeant, commander and deputy chief. Reynolds became interim police chief when Anthony Ambrose took medical leave early last year.
Still a young man at 47, Reynolds has the potential to guide and shape this critical department for a long while. In our experience, he is imbued with the community policing culture brought to this department almost 30 years ago by Joe Mendrick, Rick Tanksley, and Ambrose. It is impressive that four consecutive chiefs have been promoted from inside the department. It reflects a department that is responsive, modern and honest.
We offer Chief Reynolds our congratulations and respect.