Former police chief hired as director of 911 board, assistant director announces new job following remote work controversy

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MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA)– The City of Champaign’s announcement Thursday that Interim Chief of Police Matt Henson will retire in December was made about an hour after he was voted in as the Director of the Coles-Moultrie County 911 center.

Former director James Calvert recently resigned. This all came after the Coles-Moultrie County Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) confronted him about his decision to let his assistant director Amanda Williamson remotely work from Florida.

That was back in July and Williamson’s remote contract lasts until December. The board also talked about extending her contract during Thursday’s meeting but Williamson announced she already has another full-time job lined up.

Williamson, who attended the meeting via Zoom, laughed when asked if she was interested in extending her contract.

“That’s a loaded question,” she replied. “I was, but I was kind of led down the path to believe that that was probably not going to happen.”

Williamson may still be hired by the board as a consultant to help with the transition. That decision was tabled today.

Deputy chief Tom Petrilli will replace Henson as the next interim chief at the Champaign Police Dept. starting Dec. 16. Petrilli is a 20-year veteran of the department.

The search for a permanent police chief continues.

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