Settingsgaard Leaves Peoria Police Department

Published 06/13 2014 10:49PM

Updated 06/13 2014 10:52PM

PEORIA - It was Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard’s last day on the job.  
WMBD had chance to sit down with him on his last day in the department.
Settingsgaard is taking a job at Caterpillar as head of North American Security.
The outgoing chief says today was hard.
We talked to him just as he was getting ready to perform his final roll call with his officers.
“I know it's going to be emotional when I walk out my last time. I'll go down to roll-call, say my good-bye to the troops. It's hard; it's hard to walk away,” explains Settingsgaard.
The chief spent nine years in Peoria,  and 26 with the Milwaukee Police Department.
He says it's time to move on.
“For the first time in 35 years, I won't work for a police department, it's hard not to feel emotional about that,” he says.
The chief says his officers, command staff, and community support made his job memorable.
And when looking back on all he's accomplished…
“We’ve changed a lot of things, but "Don't Shoot", it's a game changer.”
 Settingsgaard says that anti-violence initiative changed the way he ran his department and patrol.
And while he wouldn't change anything about being chief, his tenure doesn't come without regrets.
“Not everyone agrees with everything I've done, every decision I’ve made, but I do know in my heart where my heart was when I made those decisions. And I’m comfortable with that,” says Settingsgaard.
He says conflict and controversy are in the job description.
He even faces a lawsuit on his way out, over the recent Twitter explosion involving a parody account involving the Peoria Mayor and a raid of the account creator's home.
“It will work its way out and either some negotiation to find a resolution, Settingsgaard says. “That's satisfactory to everyone, or, wind up in court and we'll get some direction from that. I'm not afraid of it; I still say we did everything in good faith."
He says he'll continue to do what he believes is right as he starts this new chapter. And he's thankful this city and community will still be his home.
“They’ve really been there for me, they've made my job so much easier,” Settingsgaard adds.
Settingsgaard starts his new job Monday.
As far as a replacement, Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich says the city is conducting a formal search, but they haven't chosen a firm, yet, to help find the next chief.

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