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Rock Island police chief retiring at the end of October

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 9:15 AM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Rock Island Police Chief Jeffrey VenHuizen is retiring on Oct. 31.

VenHuizen began his career with the Rock Island Police Department on Feb. 1, 1993, and has served in a number of roles, including a patrol officer, K-9 officer, field training officer, emergency response team member, patrol sergeant, narcotics/ vice sergeant, agent to the Office of Professional Standards, patrol lieutenant, commander of the Administrative Technical Services Division, and deputy chief of police.

He became chief in December 2012.

As chief, VenHuizen has implemented or overseen several major projects including the construction of a new police facility, upgrading the “antiquated” VHF/UHF radio system to an 800Mhz P-25 compliant system, implementing the first body-worn camera system of a large agency in the Quad Cities, and achieving department accreditation through the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program, according to the release.

He also oversaw the re-organization of the department, which included the creation of the Tactical Operations Division which focuses on the investigation of violent/gun crimes.

“I am proud to say that during my tenure as chief of police, through community partnerships and pro-active policing strategies, the City of Rock Island achieved unprecedented all-time lows in both overall and violent crime, never having risen above crime statistics from 2011,” VenHuizen said.

“Our incredible achievements and successes in reducing crime and making Rock Island a safer community would not have been possible if we did not work with the citizens to enforce laws, solve problems, build partnerships, and protect individual rights. We hold in great regard the trust our community bestows upon us and take personal responsibility in nurturing and promoting that trust.”

“His advice and support were invaluable to me during my tenure as City Manager,” City Manager Randy Tweet said. “I’d like to thank the Chief for his nearly three-decade commitment to the City and the citizens of Rock Island. He will be missed.”

Mayor Mike Thoms added, “Chief VenHuizen has been an outstanding Police Officer and Police Chief for almost 29 years. He is well respected throughout the law enforcement community and throughout the City of Rock Island. We could not have asked for anyone better to represent the City. His guidance and open-mindedness in working with City staff has been invaluable. Thank you, my friend, you will be missed.”

A reception for the chief will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Rock Island Police Department community room, 1212 5th Ave.

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