Idle in as Galesburg Police Chief

LEFT: Retired Chief David Christensen. RIGHT: New Chief Russ Idle

It’s official. Russ Idle is the new Galesburg Police Chief.

Idle took his oath of office at a ceremony in City Hall Monday morning, following Friday’s retirement of Chief David Christensen following thirteen years as chief and 37 with the department.

Idle tells WGIL he’s hitting the ground running.

“Communication is key — talking to people and, more importantly, listening to people, as you go forward,” says Idle.  “I want to have conversations both internally with my command staff, and with my officers; talk to some community leaders and members of different organizations who might have different points of view on issues, and find out what they’re thinking, what their concerns are, and how we can best serve the public.”

That starts, Idle says, with staff meetings Tuesday and Wednesday.  From a missing person’s case to shootings to one incident that’s resulted in a federal lawsuit, Galesburg Police have been involved in some high-profile incidents, and Idle tells WGIL taking a step back might be best.

“Definitely, be careful what you listen to, and realize not everything that you hear is accurate,” says Idle.  “By the nature of what we do, not all information always is going to be made public.  Sometimes that would interfere with the ability to handle a case.  Sometimes, some of the information put out there is just dead wrong.”

Idle wants to conduct a top-to-bottom review of all department policies.

HEAR MORE FROM IDLE MONDAY AT 5PM ON GALESBURG’S EVENING NEWS ON WGIL, WGIL.COM, AND WGIL ON THE TUNEIN RADIO APP.

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