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State

NIU hires new police chief

DEKALB (AP) — Northern Illinois University announced Wednesday it hired a new police chief to replace longtime former chief Donald Grady, who was fired amid accusations that he mishandled evidence in an alleged sexual assault case involving an officer.

The school hired University of Chicago deputy chief Tom Phillips, who has 25 years of law enforcement experience. He will take over the job at the DeKalb campus on Sept. 16.

"I plan on working closely with the students, faculty and staff for their input, ideas and support in making constructive changes in NIU police service," Phillips said in a statement.

The school chose Phillips after hiring a firm to undertake a national search that included nearly 80 applications. Phillips will be in charge of a department with 61 officers, 15 guards and dozens of other employees.

Grady has denied claims that his mishandled evidence in an investigation into allegations that a campus police officer sexually assaulted a student. The FBI searched the school's police station in March and seized documents related to the department.

Grady also was police chief during the deadly campus shootings at NIU in February 2008. He earned praise for his leadership during and following the attack.

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