Peoria Police Chief retires Friday, reflects on time with department

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion retires Friday, ending his 26-year career at the department.

“26 years in law enforcement, all my 26 years here, it’s been a great career,” said Chief Marion.

The third-generation police officer said during his time as Chief, there’s been growth, an accreditation award, and changes.

“We were able to implement the body camera project. This is something I have to give full credit to the staff,” said Marion.

His priorities as Chief included community policing and officer wellness, he said.

“We have made strides, but there’s still work that needs to be done,” said Marion.

But, Marion said in order to be a part of the community, officers need more free time.

“One of the ways that we’ve been working on doing that is creating an online reporting system, so hopefully that will still get pushed forward and we’ll be able to get that done this year,” said Marion.

The program will allow officers to get to know Peorians better, he said, which wil help build trust and can lead to tips and information.

“We’re in this together. The police department can’t do it alone, we need the citizens help,” said Marion.

And as the state considers police reforms in House Bill 3653, he said it could impact the department, but law enforcement leaders need to stay up to date.

“Police officers are resilient, we will adapt to the changes and adhere to what is made law,” said Marion.

When he leaves, Assistant Chief Doug Theobald will step into an interim chief role. The city is conducting a nationwide search for Marion’s replacement.

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