Both Darien and Woodridge welcomed new police chiefs in 2012, bringing new leadership to the towns' departments.
Ken Boehm, Woodridge
Boehm has served with the Woodridge Police Department for 24 years, first serving as a patrol officer in Feb. 1988. He was promoted to sergeant in June 1999 and then to deputy chief in June 2005.
While he had opportunities to go to other communities, Boehm stayed in Woodridge, he said, because he found a home here.
"It's a great department," Boehm said. "There's a comrarderie that exists here. It's very warming, like meeting old friends. They greeted me with open arms."
He served as interim chief following the retirement of former Chief Steve Herron on Nov. 11, and was selected after 116 people applied for the position.
Read more: Meet Woodridge's New Police Chief
Ernest Brown, Darien
In Darien, it was a bit of a different story. Ernest Brown, a former Chicago cop, faced some backlash from residents and the City Council, which narrowly approved his hiring, 4-3.
But since coming into the new role late last year, began working with his staff to evaluate the department’s resources in an effort to improve its overall efficiency.
After extracting data from the police department’s records, Brown saw a pattern beginning to emerge. Read more about the changes made in the department this year:
Darien Police Chief Reflects on Changes Made in First Year