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Bloomington Police Chief candidates emphasize importance of community relations

The city of Bloomington is now choosing from two final candidates for their police chief to fill the void that Clay Wheeler left when he retired.

One has a life long career within the Bloomington police ranks, current assistant police chief Dan Donath. The other, William Colbrook has experience across the state with Illinois State Police. The NAACP president said after speaking with both, she is excited about what they can bring to the table.

When both the potential candidates look at the City of Bloomington they agree the number one concern is gun violence.

They also agree the solutions come from working closely with the community.

Assistant Police Chief Dan Donath has been on the force for more than 25 years in a variety of positions. He said this issue goes beyond scheduled and dated community events.

“It should be the thing when we walk out the door and we’re thinking about how can we work with community members to resolve an issue. Otherwise if you just go and handle it the old fashion way and just arrest the bad guy, take him to jail, and then they get back out and you have more problems.” said Donath

Retired Illinois State Police Captain William Colbrook, a longtime Bloomington resident who now serves as Police Chief at Parkland College said he regularly holds community coalitions and is focused on bringing that to Bloomington.

“I’ve got thick skin and I understand that people have some real concerns and I’m absolutely open to listen to those. I want to hear what these major concerns are because once I know we can start working on solutions together.” said Colbrook

President of the Bloomington-Normal chapter of the NAACP said she feels both have experience in reaching out to minorities to build a trusting relationship.

“They both bring in backgrounds as to the experience of engaging the community and being the chief officer of that position it really stands for what the leadership is saying and that trickles down to what the front line will do.” said President Linda Foster

City manager Tim Gleason makes the final decision on who will be the new chief. If you have feedback you want to share about the candidates, you can email

Kaitlin Pearson

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