Tracy Chapman of Shorewood will take over as the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s new chief of police on June 30.
Chapman, who held the rank of lieutenant since 2009, is the first woman to serve as chief. She is replacing former Chief Robert "Bob" Murphy, who retired on June 29 after serving as chief for seven years. Murphy said he’s proud of all he and his department accomplished in the 27 years he worked for the District.
"We don't have a single unsolved crime-against-a-person case, and that is such an amazing statistic," he said. "Especially when you consider we have more than 20,000 acres."
Chapman, who was hired in 2004, became the District's first master patrol officer and its first K-9 handler. She also has served as president and vice president of the Illinois Park Law Enforcement Association.
Ralph Schultz, chief operating officer for the District, said Chapman was the logical choice because of her experience within the department.
"She is well respected by her peers and the Forest Preserve's leadership," he added.
Forest Preserve Board President Suzanne Hart said Chapman's years as the department's second highest ranking officer will provide a smooth transition within the department.
"I know Chief Chapman will do a fantastic job, because she's already shown what a great leader she can be throughout her career with the District," Hart said. "It's a great benefit to the Forest Preserve to promote our own, especially someone with so much talent and drive."
Chapman said there is something special about working for the Forest Preserve District.
"I love this department," she said. "We're smaller, but we get things done. We can go home at the end of the day and feel we have accomplished something."
In addition to Chapman being named chief, Dave Barrios was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant, and Bob Veron was promoted from master patrol officer to sergeant. Sgts. Reggie McCrary and Steve Dow will continue to work in their supervisory roles.