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Broadview Trustees Okay 1st African-American Police Chief

Village of Broadview Board of Trustees on Monday unanimously approved the town’s appointment of the west suburban community’s first African-American police chief.

Thomas Mills, a 31-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who oversaw more than 600 officers as CPD’s Bureau of Counter Terrorism’s Criminal Network Group deputy chief, was sworn-in at the board meeting to lead the 37-officer Village of Broadview Police Department.

Mills, who is Broadview’s first African-American-Japanese police chief, says “honesty” is the top duty of anyone leading a police department.

“A city and community wants a chief who displays honesty at all times,” said Mills. “Integrity and humility are the two most common components of the overall success of a police chief.”

Mills, who replaces a 30-year veteran of the Broadview Police Department, Kevin Eugling, who retired in February, is pledging to have an “open conversation” with village residents and business leaders in the western Cook County community of 7,900 residents just 15-minutes from Chicago’s loop.

“It would be my job to learn the Village of Broadview while striving to gain the trust from all residents and businesses owners through an open conversation,” said Mills. “The only way to accomplish this is to be ‘boots on the ground’ both day and night, visiting all communities.”

As a first step to implement his community engagement pledge, Chief Mills will hold a meet-and-greet with Broadview residents at the Broadview’s Schroeder Park on October 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson, who nominated Mills for the job, has prioritized  a new “police culture” for the new chief, and Mills has pledged to implement Thompson’s new police culture priority through a new “community based style.”

“In policing, culture drives behavior, and if the culture of the organization is not in line with the core values of the profession and the highest expectations of the community, then they are meaningless,” said Mills. “I would work to change the old culture into a new ‘community based’ style of culture that provides a voice to elected government officials, police officers, and members of the community.”

Trustees praised Mills before the board vote.

“I think that he is going to make a great addition to the Village of Broadview,” said Trustee John Tierney.

“I am really impressed by what I have seen in Mr. Mills,” said Trustee Sheila Armour. “I am so looking forward to working with him to make our community a better place. I am excited by this appointment.”

Thompson echoed the trustees’ comments.

“My intention throughout the interview process was to make sure that we had nothing but the best, and we got the best,” said Thompson. “And it’s a great honor and privilege to say that we are appointing our first African-American police chief in the Village of Broadview.”

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