New chief chosen for Parkland police

New chief chosen for Parkland police

CHAMPAIGN — A retired Illinois State Police captain has been tapped to lead Parkland College's police department.

William Colbrook, a 26-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, will start his new job on May 1, pending approval by the Parkland College Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I believe my skills and experience can help Parkland move forward," Colbrook said.

The 50-year-old Colbrook retired as captain from the state police in October 2013. His last assignment with the state agency was as commander of District 6, the three-county area based in Pontiac and District 8, headquartered out of Metamora east of Peoria. As commander, he oversaw all operational aspects of the districts, troopers and other sworn officers and he worked with other law enforcement agencies in the area, including Illinois State University police, city police agencies, sheriff's offices, federal law enforcement and state's attorneys.

Colbrook replaces Von Young, who retired at the end of the year. Bonita Burgess has been acting as interim chief since then. "Chief Young was a talented guy. He brought the department from a fairly new police department into what it is today. I'm looking to build on his success and am excited about starting," Colbrook said.

Born and raised in Stonington in central Illinois, Colbrook is a graduate of Illinois State University, where he studied criminal justice.

His first job as a police officer was with the city of Pontiac. He joined the state police in 1987.

After he retired in October, Colbrook said he worked on renovating his house in Mahomet but he knew he wanted something more.

He has attended trainings at Parkland and, having lived in Mahomet, is familiar with the Champaign region.

"I've been very impressed with the staff at Parkland — they do things on a high level and do good work," he said, adding that he is looking forward to getting to know staff better.

Parkland's police chief oversees the public safety department's annual budget of about $1 million, 17 full-time employees (two positions are open) plus five part-time employees.

He will earn $66,795, pending board action.

College officials declined to comment on the appointment, citing the pending approval.