(WEEK) – Peoria’s new acting police chief said he wants to try and restore public trust with the police department. Former Assistant Chief Loren Marion III spent his first full day at work following Friday’s abrupt retirement of Chief Jerry Mitchell.
Marion said he’s taking the new job one day at a time. Acting Chief Loren Marion said he hopes to use the Police Community Advisory Committee to help build trust among the public.
“An officer is driving down the street and sees people outside and stop and just talk, go in to do business checks, talk, get to know people, let em see you other than somebody responding to a call,” he said.
Marion said he’s also looking forward to the department rolling out the body camera program this Spring. He added that will provide more transparency and hopefully improve police community relations. He would not comment on why Chief Mitchell retired suddenly, or what the investigation involving him entails. But, Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich confirmed that an outside law firm has been hired to assess issues related to an employment matter. City Council Member Chuck Grayeb is angry about council members not being notified earlier about the matter.
“That’s pretty bad when the board of directors are unaware of an investigation. That’s unacceptable. This investigation must be allowed to be completed,” Grayeb said.
Grayeb said the city council will discuss the matter in executive session Tuesday night. The Journal Star has cited anonymous sources as saying the investigation into Chief Mitchell involved allegations of inappropriate behavior with a female subordinate.