New Crystal Lake police chief to start Jan. 7

CRYSTAL LAKE – A Downers Grove deputy police chief has been tapped as the new leader of the Crystal Lake Police Department.

City officials announced the appointment of James Black as the new police chief, replacing longtime Crystal Lake police Chief Dave Linder, who will retire at the end of the year.

“It feels great,” said Black, who grew up in the Hinsdale area. “I am very excited to serve with the men and women of Crystal Lake. It is a very professional organization.”

Black, a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, has been a member of the Downers Grove Police Department for the past 25 years. He has spent the past six years as deputy chief.

“It’s been a career goal of mine to one day become a police chief,” Black said. “My qualifications and experience, combined with my overall professional development in Downers Grove, has prepared me for Crystal Lake.”

That experience includes serving as an officer, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant and operations lieutenant. He also holds master’s degrees in criminal and social justice.

The Hinsdale Central High School graduate recently served as the coordinator of the multi-jurisdictional Felony Investigations Assistance Team, comprising a major crimes unit, SWAT team, computer forensics unit, K-9 unit and accident ­reconstruction unit.

The transition to chief should be a smooth one, said Black, who is married and has two young children.

“Crystal Lake is very similar to Downers Grove,” said Black, 46. “It seems very complementary to what I am used to as far as managing that type of a department.”

Linder started as a patrolman in September 1980. He worked his way up to the rank of chief in September 2005.

“Chief [Dave] Linder has been a dedicated professional and will be missed,” city manager Gary Mayerhofer said in a news release. “I believe that the police department is in a much better organizational position since he became chief.”

Black will take over Jan. 7. He was one of 77 applicants.

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