RACE RELATIONS | Macomb appoints first Black police chief


MACOMB, Illinois — The city of Macomb is set to have its first Black police chief. 

The Macomb City Council approved the appointment of Lt. Jerel Jones on Tuesday, Feb. 16, during its regular council meeting.

This comes after Macomb Police Department Chief Curt Barker will retire this spring.

“I look forward to working with the outstanding women and men of the Macomb Police Department and serving the citizens of Macomb as their police chief,” Jones said in a press release. “Macomb is a great community. I have made a commitment to this outstanding community where I have chosen to live with my wife, and we raise our children here.”

Jones will be placed as the transitional police chief on March 1 and take the full position on May 3.

“We are so grateful to Chief Barker for his many years of dedicated service and we congratulate him on his planned and well-deserved retirement,” Macomb Mayor Michael Inman said in a press release. “We are excited and proud to have Chief Jones bring his experience in 21st Century policing to our community. He is a person of outstanding integrity, dedication and commitment. We are so happy he is joining our team as we move Macomb forward into the future.”

Barker spent more than 27 years with the department. Jones has almost 15 years of experience in law enforcement. He is currently a lieutenant for the McDonough County Sheriff’s Department.

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