Brown accepts position as Rantoul police chief

RANTOUL — For the first time since the late 1990s, a Rantoul resident will hold the position as the town’s chief of police.

Native Tony Brown has been offered — and has accepted — the position. Local resident Allen Jones Sr. held the position from 1986-1999.

The village board will hold a special meeting at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday, July 5, at the municipal building to formally approve Brown for the position. The meeting will immediately precede the board’s monthly study session.

Brown was one of the two final candidates for the post. However, Daniel Dempsey, a retired police lieutenant from the Riverdale Police Department, pulled his name out of consideration on Monday, the day before he and Brown were scheduled to meet with village officials and the public.

The village board met in executive session at the end of Tuesday night’s monthly board meeting to discuss the police chief hire, then met with Brown Thursday morning and offered him the position.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity,” Brown said. “I really think Rantoul is headed in the right direction, and I’m quite honored to be part of that in this role.”

Brown will be paid $115,000 a year, Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh said.

“The previous chief (Erman Blevins) was offered $110,000. He had less experience than (Brown). If (Blevins) had stayed on board, he would have been almost at $115,000,” Fiegenschuh said.

Blevins resigned as chief in January without citing a reason. He had been in the position less than a year.

Brown is the deputy chief of police with the University of illinois Police Department and has been employed with the department since 1989.

He holds a master’s degree in organizational development and change from the University of Illinois in 2009.

His father, Joe, was a three-term sheriff of Champaign County and served one term as mayor of Rantoul.

Fiegenschuh said Brown will likely start in the new job in early August.

“We left that time line flexible because of his ability to complete what he’s doing at the university,” Fiegenschuh said. “We’re excited to have him on.”

The administrator said the reaction among those attending a public reception for Brown Tuesday evening was positive with only one person making a negative comment — that the village should have involved citizens more in the selection process.

Fiegenschuh said the village also spoke with area chiefs of police about Brown, and they expressed “overwhelming support for Tony and the job he would do for Rantoul

A more extrensive interview with Brown will appear in the June 21 edition of the Rantoul Press.



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MasseyDT wrote on June 16, 2017 at 9:06 am

Wouldn't you know it! How do I get to be part of this Good 'ol Boys Club?

eaglefan12 wrote on June 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Good choice Rantoul. Finally the right man for the job!