New interim police chief chosen for Decatur

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DECATUR, Ill. (WICA) — City officials have announced the Decatur Police Department’s deputy chief will be filling in as top cop.

A press release from City Manager Scot Wrighton says he has appointed Deputy Chief Shane Brandel to serve as Interim Police Chief. He will be taking over for Chief James Getz after he retires on July 30.

Wrighton says Brandel has served with Decatur Police for more than 24 years. Just like Chief Getz, the city manager says Brandel climbed the ranks after starting as a patrol officer.

“He is intimately familiar with all operations and functions of the department,” says Wrighton.

“Shane brings vast local knowledge and broad law enforcement experience to this job,” the city manager says, “and I am certain he is ready for this new assignment.

“I am grateful he has agreed to take this job at such a critical time. I am also looking forward to having Shane on the city’s senior management team, and working closely with him as we plan for and evaluate the future course of the Decatur Police Department.”

The release says Brandel graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and justice administration. Additionally, he got his master’s degree in criminal justice and criminology from Indiana State University.  Wrighton says Brandel also graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

There are two deputy police chief positions at DPD, according to the release.

“Chief Getz and Deputy Chief Brandel have worked together closely for many years, and both men anticipate a seamless transfer of management at the end of July,” says Wrighton.

The city manager says Brandel us a candidate for the permanent Police Chief position.

“I am thrilled and ready to step into this important leadership position,” says Brandel, “and I believe I can bring new and innovative ways of providing quality law enforcement and safety services to our community in these turbulent times.”

Wrighton described Chief Getz as a “consummate law enforcement professional,” adding he wishes Getz had stuck around as chief for several more years.

The city manager says the chief will be hard to replace, but he’s also thankful that Getz engaged in careful succession planning. Wrighton says the chief has “prepared his team for situations like this.”

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