Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black was sworn in as the 72nd president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police on Friday.
Other local officials being installed on the ILACP board include McHenry County Conservation District Police Chief Laura King and retired Algonquin Police Chief Russell Laine.
“It is very much worth noting that Chief King will be the first woman on the ILACP Board of Officers in the association’s 79-year history,” ILACP Executive Director Ed Wojcicki said.
King was elected this week by members and is in line to become the first woman ILACP president. That would happen in April 2023, according to a news release.
Black was sworn in during a small ceremony at noon at Crystal Lake City Hall. The installation would have taken place in Oak Brook at the end of the association’s annual conference, but it was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Black is the association’s second president from McHenry County, following Laine in 2000.
“I am excited about what the future may hold for the association and our profession,” Black said. “Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think we would be policing during a global pandemic. In the blink of an eye, we went from fighting crime to fighting our lawmakers over recreational cannabis use to fighting an invisible enemy. For this, I can’t thank the men and women on the front lines enough for their courage and perseverance during these troubled times.”
Black will lead the 1,200-member association and a nine-person board of officers. His three goals as president, according to the association, are to continue a “robust tradition of legislative advocacy” as the voice of Illinois law enforcement, to enhance the relationship the association has with the Illinois NAACP state conference and minority communities throughout the state, and to enhance efforts to promote officer wellness after 228 police officers in the U.S. committed suicide in 2019.
“As a profession, we need to break down the macho stereotype about asking for help and seeking guidance,” Black said.
Black began his career in 1988 with the Downers Grove Police Department and retired from Downers Grove in January 2013 as deputy chief to accept the chief of police position in Crystal Lake.
His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in criminal/social justice from Lewis University in Romeoville. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, a graduate of the 235th session of the FBI National Academy and a graduate of the 75th session of FBI LEEDS, according to a news release.
Black has served on the ILACP’s Board of Officers, the executive board, the ILACP Constitution and Bylaws Committee as chairman, the McHenry County Chiefs of Police Association executive board and the North East Multi-Regional Training Finance and Audit Committee.
“It is unknown when will get back to normal or whatever the new normal will be as a result of COVID-19 and its effects on our cities, our economy and our officers,” Black said. “Whatever that new normal may be, remember to take care of yourselves, take care of your family, take care of your officers and take care of your communities.”
Black has been married for 30 years to his wife, Kim, and they have two