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Shawton Johnson sworn in as Oak Park Police Chief

Two weeks after she was named Oak Park’s first female police chief, Shatonya Johnson was sworn in Friday, and her mother pinned Johnson with a police chief’s badge at the ceremony.

Johnson first served as interim police chief earlier this year and then became the first woman in the village to hold the position when Village Manager Kevin Jackson announced her appointment as chief on Oct. 25.

At the time, Jackson announced that Johnson had been appointed police chief “following a comprehensive national search.”

Her appointment was effective Nov. 7, he said in a press release.

On Friday, she was sworn in at the village hall with her family, village leaders – including Jackson – and others in attendance.

Shatonya Johnson (right) hugs retired Oak Park Police Chief Phyllis Howard after Johnson was sworn in as Oak Park's first female police chief.  The swearing-in took place at a country house in Oak Park.

A 23-year veteran of the Oak Park Police Department, Jackson has been interim chief since April, taking over after the retirement of Ladon Reynolds.

“Chief Johnson was more than willing to step up as the absolute best person to continue serving our vibrant community in this capacity. Her experience and institutional knowledge of Oak Park are invaluable assets, as is her genuine concern and compassion for others.”

Jackson’s cabinet appoints the police chief, and the position reports to the village manager, a village spokesman told the Pioneer Press.

Johnson is the 14th police chief in the village’s history, according to the release. She started with the Oak Park Police Department in 2000 as a patrol officer. Since then, she has also worked in the community as a precinct resource officer, juvenile specialist, operations officer, internal affairs sergeant, operations officer, deputy chief and interim chief.

“As chief, I value community engagement and will continue to instill this concept of policing in our department. I am excited to take on my new role alongside the talented men and women of the Oak Park Police Department as we strive to provide excellent policing services,” Johnson said when her appointment was announced.


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