Chief Shatonya Johnson (Village of Oak Park)

Interim Oak Park Police Chief Shatonya Johnson is now Police Chief Shatonya Johnson. The Village of Oak Park announced in an Oct. 25 news release that Village Manager Kevin Jackson has promoted Johnson to the role permanently, after carrying out a “comprehensive national search.”

Johnson is the first female to serve as police chief in the department’s history. Her appointment is effective Nov. 7, but she has been serving as interim police chief since April, following the retirement of LaDon Reynolds. She previously served as deputy chief under Reynolds, who is now a U.S. Marshal.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to serve as the first female Chief of Police for the Village of Oak Park,” Johnson said in the release. “It is truly historic! I take tremendous pride in serving [the community] with dignity and respect. As a leader, I value community engagement and I will continue to instill this concept of policing within our department. I am excited to embrace my new role alongside the talented men and women of the Oak Park Police Department as we strive to provide excellent police services.”

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Wednesday Journal has reached out to Johnson for comment.

During her 23 years with the Oak Park Police Department, Johnson has held just about all available police roles, starting as a patrol officer in 2000. She went on to work as a neighborhood resource officer, juvenile specialist, detective, internal affairs sergeant, detective commander, deputy chief and interim chief.

Johnson is also a certified negotiator of 15 years. That experience was put to use in bringing about a peaceful end to the recent standoff on Harlem Avenue, which ended without injury after 18 and a half hours.

 The police chief has a long history of public service. Before Johnson joined the Oak Park police force, she worked as a case manager with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, as a correctional officer at the Will County Jail and as a patrol officer for the Cook County Forest Preserves.

Johnson was also an adjunct professor of juvenile justice at MacCormac College, now known as Generations College. She holds a master’s degree in organizational behavior and organizational development from Benedictine University and a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement administration from Western Illinois University.

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