The selection comes after four months of debate within the city about how Darien should fill the police chief role, and means one of the two deputy chiefs will return to sergeant rank. City Council will vote at Monday's meeting on whether to accept the appointment.
Brown, one of roughly 140 internal and external candidates who applied for the position, has been with the Chicago Police Department for 28 years.
In his role as bureau chief, he oversees 8,000 personnel in the Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Patrol. The bureau includes all operational patrol functions, the helicopter unit, equestrian unit, traffic control section, SWAT, mobile strike force, targeted response unit and marine unit.
Before his appointment as a Chicago bureau chief, Brown was chief of the city’s organized crime division. Brown also served in the U.S. Air Force.
“Although I was presented with an excellent field of candidates, Mr. Brown emerged as my top choice, primarily due to his commitment to developing police strategies and his wide range of experience in police operations, along with his intergovernmental approach to police services,” Weaver said in a statement.
The Darien police chief position became vacant when former Chief Robert Pavelchik retired at the end of May.
Weaver appointed a five-member citizens committee to aid in the search process: David Kesler, Jim Bulla, John Gonczy, Chuck Slaybough and David Gore.
The committee narrowed down the original pool of applicants to 100 who live in Illinois.
From those 100 resumes, Weaver, city staff and three members of the committee interviewed 10 candidates whom the committee scored the highest, according to the statement. Weaver and the city staff brought in three candidates from that pool for a second interview.
The appointment was made public early Friday morning in the agenda for Monday’s Darien City Council meeting.
If the City Council approves Brown’s appointment, Darien will eliminate one of the two deputy chief positions, returning either David Skala or John Cooper to sergeant rank.
“(W)e are a little management-heavy at this point, and this is the right thing to do to reduce the Police Department budget,” Weaver said in June.
Before announcing June 1 it would conduct a search that would include both internal and external candidates, the city presented two other proposals for handling the police chief role.
On May 13, the city released a proposed ordinance that would have eliminated the position of police chief, transferring the department’s administrative duties to City Administrator Bryon Vana.
The City Council postponed voting on that ordinance after residents expressed concern about the proposal at the May 16 meeting.
Vana released a memo May 19 detailing a second proposal that would promote one of the deputy chiefs to chief. Under that scenario, Vana would have assumed the same administrative duties as he would have under the first proposal.
Vana said in a statement Friday that Darien would be lucky to have someone with Brown’s experience heading the Police Department.
“He was been an excellent leader in the Chicago Police Department and has been recognized for his heroism and innovation in the field of law enforcement,” he said.