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Detective sergeant appointed as new Dixon police chief

Howell 'humbled and honored' by new post

DIXON – Detective Sgt. Steve Howell is going from leading all major police investigations in the city to heading the department.

The 42-year-old longtime Dixon resident was selected Thursday as the new chief of the Dixon Police Department. He replaces City Manager Danny Langloss, who held the position from 2008 until stepping down Oct. 25 to become manager.

Howell joined the department in 1999, became a sergeant in 2008, and was promoted to detective sergeant in 2015, spearheading the big cases.

“I am very humbled and honored by the experience of this process and being selected to serve as the Dixon Police Chief,” Howell said. “I look forward to continuing the goals and current direction of the department.”

Howell was a school resource officer for 2 years, served on the department’s tactical response team for 14 years and Lee County Drug Court for 5 years, and has played a key role in the Safe Passage Initiative.

“It was critically important to not only hire a great leader, but to select a person who has been instrumental in the community policing and progressive programs that make our department great,” Langloss said.

Howell’s new position is effective immediately, and his salary is $103,000.

Langloss formed an advisory hiring committee to help him name his replacement in the internal search, and Howell was chosen out of five applicants, with the other four being Lts. Clay Whelan and Brad Sibley and Sgts. Mike Wolfley and Matt Richards.

“We had many qualified applicants for this process, but Howell’s progressive leadership style and strong contributions and commitment to the goals and innovative strategies of the department stood out to the entire committee,” Langloss said.

Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said the process was fair, focused and merit-based, and Howell will be a high-caliber leader who will continue strengthening the relationship between the police department and the community.

“Having a strong, dynamic police chief is critical to maintaining that high level of service for the Dixon community,” he said. “Steve Howell rose to the top of a very qualified applicant group, and I look forward to continued excellence from DPD under Chief Howell.”

The committee consisted of Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steven Casstevens, who is a vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police; Brad Bloom, a retired police chief and assistant village manager and director of public safety in Hinsdale; the Rev. Michael Cole, a member of the Dixon Police and Fire Commission; Jon Mandrell, vice president of Academics and Student Services at Sauk Valley Community College; Lee County Sheriff John Simonton; Councilmen Dennis Considine and Mike Venier; and Dixon Police Sgt. Doug Lehman and Detective Ryan Bivins.

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