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Springfield Mayor selects new police chief

Kenneth Scarlette
City of Springfield
Kenneth Scarlette

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder Monday announced Ken Scarlette will serve as the city's new police chief. He's a longtime membere of the force. Former Chief Kenny Winslow retired last week.

From mayor's office news release:

Mayor Langfelder spoke with the entire Command Staff this morning where he made the announcement.

“The issues we face as a community and the police profession are constantly changing. We can never change the past, but we have the ability to shape the future,” said Mayor Jim Langfelder. “These next few years will be pivotal. With changes occurring in the legislature, we will need a keen focus on recruitment, technology, and enhanced community relations. With his experience, I feel Ken Scarlette has the ability to lead the Springfield Police Department and our residents towards a safer and stronger community.”

Originally from Springfield, Scarlette has been with the Springfield Police Department for nearly 24 years. He served as a full-time officer and in various capacities in the department including as a Neighborhood Police Officer; Honor Guard; Assistant Commander for the Emergency Response Team; Gang Enforcement; and most recently served as Assistant Chief under Kenny Winslow. Scarlette is a graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin, Lincoln Land Community College, and Liberty University where he received his Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies. He served with the Illinois Air National Guard for six years before being honorably discharged. He also attended the Northwestern School for Staff and Command where he received the Franklin Kreml Leadership Award.

Scarlette stated, “It is truly an honor to be selected by Mayor Langfelder as the next Chief of Police. I have dedicated my entire adult life to serving the citizens of Springfield and look forward to continuing this effort as Chief. With the help of a competent senior leadership team, it is my goal to ensure the professional image and quality of service continues. I am grateful to be surrounded by the best law enforcement officers who have a passion for serving and protecting their community. Together, the Springfield Police Department remains strong and committed in our quest for excellence in protecting and serving the public.”

Mayor Langfelder interviewed all of the members of the Command Staff prior to making his selection. Robert Moore from the Springfield Branch of the NAACP and Ron Cook, Assistant Director of the City’s Office of Human Resources, took part in the interviews as well.

“It was important to speak with all members of the Command Staff and hear their thoughts and ideas for how we can move the department forward and into the future,” continued Mayor Langfelder. “We are fortunate to have each individual who puts on the Springfield Police uniform selflessly go out to protect us each and every day. As Chief Winslow said in his goodbye, we have one of the most elite departments in the state and in the Midwest. We stand by that statement as well.”

An ordinance regarding Ken Scarlette’s appointment will be introduced on First Reading tomorrow evening, with the final vote by the City Council on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.