Freeport Police Chief retiring after 26 years with the department

By  | 

FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) -- Freeport Police Chief Todd Barkalow announces his retirement after more than two decades with the department.

Joining the department in 1993, he steadily climbed the ranks and was appointed chief of police in 2014.

Barkalow oversees a 48-officer department.

He's recognized for establishing the city's first Special Victims Unit in 2017, which focuses solely on domestic violence and sexual assault cases. Barkalow also created the city's first gang unit.

"I am proud of the progress we have made to make Freeport safe and, perhaps more importantly, to establish strong bonds with the community we are sworn to protect," he said.

Recently, Chief Barkalow guided the department through the high-profile case of Shaquille Dukes' arrest. A third party investigator determined no misconduct by the Freeport police officers, but recommended improvements in how officers interact with hospitalized people, or those needing medical attention.

Barkalow, 57, plans to retire Aug. 2. He's married with children.

He will be honored during the Aug. 5 city council meeting.

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the City will immediately work to appoint an interim chief.

A national search for a permanent chief will follow.