New police chief sworn into office

RANTOUL — His first day on the job wasn’t until Monday. Even so, new Rantoul Police Chief Tony Brown was sworn into office six days before — last Tuesday at the village board’s study session.

With his wife, Beth, and his three sons, Tyler, Justin and Austin, on hand, Tony Brown took the oath of office from Mayor Chuck Smith.

Afterward, a few officers came by to congratulate their new boss.

The department has been operating with co-interim police chiefs — Lt. Jeff Wooten and Lt. Alex Meyer — since Police Chief Erman Blevins unexpectedly resigned in January.

Brown was deputy chief of police with the University of Illinois Police Department. He had been with the department since 1989.

Brown will be paid $115,000 a year.

He is no stranger to village board meetings, having served for eight years as a village trustee. Now he will sit on the other side of the board room.

Police pension savings
In another police matter, the board also learned the village will be saving about $75,000 annually — $6 million during the next 20 years — as a result of its police pension bond sale.

Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh said the sale of the police pension bond was held the previous week, and the average coupon rate was 4.38 percent.

“Our debt service is $75,000 less than originally anticipated,” Fiegenschuh said.

The administrator congratulated the board and Comptroller Scot Brandon’s “forward thinking.”

“I would brag that up if I were you because that is $6 million that people will not have to pay either in that pension tax or in the property tax,” Fiegenschuh said.

In August, the police pension will be funded at 100 percent.

Smith credited Brandon and Fiegenschuh for their work on that issue.


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