As incoming Sandwich police chief, Kevin Senne said he wants to work hand in hand with community members.
I look forward to building strong relationships with the community.”— Kevin Senne, incoming Sandwich police chief
Senne was sworn in as Sandwich’s new police chief during the Sept. 5 Sandwich City Council meeting.
“I look forward to working with the members of the police department, city departments, City Council and the community,” Senne said after being sworn in. “I look forward to building strong relationships with the community and look forward to hearing from them to see what we as an organization are doing well and what we can be doing better.”
Senne is an Elgin police commander. At their Aug. 21 meeting, Sandwich City Council members unanimously approved Mayor Todd Latham’s appointment of Senne as the city’s new police chief.
The city decided not to renew the contract of Police Chief Jim Bianchi, whose contract expired at the end of April. He had served as police chief since September 2013.
Senne, 47, has worked for the Elgin Police Department since 2001. He has been a police officer since 1998.
His starting annual salary is $118,500.
Senne said that police officers these days are involved in more than just investigating a crime.
“We provide counseling to families in distress, get help for somebody who is suffering from a mental illness, work out a civil dispute between neighbors and work with youth in various after-school programs,” he said. “The officers of the Sandwich Police Department put on a uniform every day because they want to help people and give back to the community they serve. I look forward to working with the members of the police department to help them become the best officers they can be and to help make the Sandwich Police Department the best they can be.”
In its search for a new police chief, the city worked with the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs. Latham said he thought the process worked well.
“They do an assessment, they do some fieldwork type of activities, and they are judged by a panel of existing police chiefs,” he said. “We relied on a group of experts to make the recommendation to the City Council, and then we also had the chance to interview Kevin Senne several times to see how he would fit in line with the goals of the city. It was a unanimous recommendation to me.”
In May, the City Council voted to hire former Normal Police Chief Richard Bleichner as the city’s interim police chief. The city found Bleichner through the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs.
Bleichner retired as Normal police chief last year after leading the department for 11 years. Sandwich City Administrator Geoff Penman thanked Bleichner for his help.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done the last several months in stabilizing the force for us, and you’ve really been a great colleague to me,” he said.