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Peoria’s new police chief pledges to build relationships as he’s sworn into office

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PEORIA (WEEK) - Peoria's new police chief said he's been busy getting to know his officers and city residents as he becomes the community's top law enforcer.

Joined by family and former colleagues at the Elgin Police Department, Eric Echevarria was sworn in as chief by City Clerk Stefanie Tarr.

Echevarria said Peoria is similar in demographics and size to Elgin where he worked for more than 20 years, including his most recent job as Elgin's Commander of Investigations.

The chief said he's getting out in the community, meeting with various stakeholders, and building relationships.

To Mayor Rita Ali, the city council, and City Manager Patrick Urich, Echevarria pledged to do his best to exceed their expectations.

The chief also addressed police officers and staff.

"I will lead by example with firmness, but fairness. I will demand excellence in all we do for our public, while being open to creativity and new ideas from all levels," Echevarria said.

The city manager selected Echevarria to replace Loren Marion III, who retired in January. Since then, Assistant Chief Doug Theobald has been running the department on an interim basis.

Echevarria's starting annual salary is $176,000, according to a city news release.

Howard Packowitz

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