Campton Hills interim becomes actual police chief

President Wojnicki: ‘He demonstrated his leadership in leading his department at a difficult time’

Campton Hills Village President Barbara Wojnick swears in James Levand as the village's new police chief on Feb. 20, 2024. Levand had been interim chief since July.

CAMPTON HILLS – Campton Hills Interim Police Chief James Levand is officially now the new police chief.

The Village Board approved an employment contract with Levand at its Feb. 20 meeting.

Levand had been interim chief since July 2023.

Village President Barbara Wojnicki said Levand proved himself as interim chief.

“Therefore, it was an easy decision for me and the board to make this decision because of the confidence and trust he built as interim chief,” Wojnicki said. “He demonstrated his leadership in leading his department at a difficult time.”

Wojnicki swore Levand in as K-9 Koda lay down at his feet and whined. Koda barked after the swearing-in ceremony was completed and then it was time for cake.

Citizen Police Academy member Hollie Bauron and her husband, Community Emergency Response Team member Raphael Bauron, provided the home-baked doughtnut-shaped cake for Levand’s swearing-in ceremony.

After the swearing-in ceremony for Campton Hills Police Chief James Levand on Feb. 20, 2024, supporters were treated to a in the shape of a doughnut. A cutout photo of Levand and K-9 Koda was attached.

The humorous confection was gluten-free vanilla and chocolate with homemade strawberry jam filling from the family’s strawberry patch.

Koda was with Levand when he was promoted to sergeant May 1, 2022, and when he was promoted to interim chief, Wojnicki said, so Koda was there for the latest promotion. Levand has been with the department for about 10 years.

“It is an honor and privilege having the unanimous support of the village, including President Wojnicki, Administrator [Mark] Rooney and the entire board,” Levand wrote in an email. “The large turnout from the community at my swearing-in ceremony was the biggest compliment I could receive. Campton Hills is an amazing community and I enjoy interacting with the residents, schools, businesses and visitors each day. I will continue to focus on our community policing efforts and keeping Campton Hills one of the safest cities. The department has an amazing group of professional and dedicated officers wanting to make a difference in the community, which I am proud to lead.”

Campton Hills Police Chief James Levand and K-9 Koda at the Feb. 20, 2024 Village Board meeting where he was sworn in. Levand had served as interim chief since July.

Levand was named interim chief after village officials put then-Police Chief Steven Millar on paid administrative leave July 6, 2023, because of an ongoing investigation by the Illinois State Police. The probe is not yet completed.

Later that month, Millar’s attorney Matthew McQuaid released a statement that Millar being put on leave amid the Illinois State Police probe were “attempts to assassinate his character and impugn his integrity.”

“Chief Millar is surprised and deeply disappointed with these unsubstantiated and politically motivated attempts to assassinate his character and impugn his integrity,” according to McQuade’s statement released last year. “He expects to be fully cleared of any wrongdoing.”

Millar resigned Jan. 22 after seven months of being on paid leave.