Galesburg’s top cop to retire; public input being sought on replacement

The man who’s been in charge of the Galesburg Police Department for the last 13 years is stepping down.

In a statement issued by the city, Chief David Christensen says he’s retiring — but the exact date of when is yet to be determined, depending on when a new chief is hired.  The city says they’re conducting a “competitive” national search for a replacement, but also are considering “internal candidates.”

Christensen first joined the Galesburg Police force in 1982 as a patrol officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 1995, and lieutenant in 1999, before becoming Chief in 2006.

Christensen says in a statement he’s been fortunate to work with “a really wonderful staff.” The city says he’s worked to, in their words, “install a culture of professionalism.”

The news of the retirement comes as businessman “Champ” Coleman has filed a federal lawsuit against the city claiming excessive force among other things, and as the parents of Tyler Smith — a former Illinois man undergoing National Guard training and who died last year while visiting Galesburg — claim police didn’t do enough to investigate the case.

The city wants public input on the police chief search process and has developed an online survey to that end. You can find the survey by CLICKING HERE.

CLICK HERE FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH CHIEF CHRISTENSEN AS AIRED ON GALESBURG’S EVENING NEWS.

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