BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Bloomington has a new police chief.
In a press release sent Wednesday, city officials confirmed Col. Jamal Simington, the deputy director for the Illinois State Police, has been selected to lead the department.
“Today’s announcement is a big win for the Bloomington Police Department and community. Colonel Simington’s law enforcement experience and relationships gained in a top-notch state agency will bode well in our first-rate municipal police department,” said City Manager Tim Gleason. “An already great department will become even better under Chief Simington’s leadership. While the official start date is still a month or so away, Colonel Simington is already prepping himself so he can hit the ground running.”
The announcement came after a months-long search that was narrowed down to Simington and Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow.
“I am honored to join the dedicated men and women of the Bloomington Police Department, which strives to serve and protect Bloomington’s residents and visitors,” Simington said after being selected. “I have been committed to public service, and I am looking forward to serving in law enforcement at the local level. I can’t wait to work with residents and stakeholders to enhance public safety in Bloomington.”
Simington graduated from Kankakee Community College, Governor’s State University, and the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, School of Staff and Command. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
In 1991, he joined the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department and served as a corrections officer, telecommunicator, and deputy sheriff. During his 10-year tenure with the Region II Crowd Control team, he led investigations while stopping criminal activities.
Later assignments included the Ops Commander in District 21, the District Commander in District 10, and the Region III Commander for the State Police overseeing two investigative zones and six patrol operations in Central Illinois. In March 2021, Simington was appointed as Deputy Director for the Academy and Training Division.
He said he’s looking forward to serving the area and will strive to perfect the responsibilities expected of the department.
“Every community has its challenges and it’s imperative that I take the time to listen internally and externally to some of the stakeholders in the community to then build a plan for, and prioritize, where we need to take the agency and where improvements are needed,” Simington said.
Simington’s first day as police chief is Oct. 1.