South Roxana Police Chief Bob Coles went through the process of promotion through the ranks from patrolman to sergeant and on to lieutenant before applying for the chief’s position.
SOUTH ROXANA — Bob Coles, a resident and police officer of 16 years, was promoted to the position of chief on April 1 and took active office beginning May 1.
Coles went through the process of promotion through the ranks from patrolman to sergeant and on to lieutenant before applying for the chief’s position.
“The board conducts a two-night interview process before the mayor made the appointment,” Coles said. “I was appointed the day Roxana had the possible shooting situation, so what a beginning.”
Coles walked into the position with plans to improve current projects but is developing new programs as well.
“I am implementing a new juvenile program to help kids under the age of 17 who may have made a mistake when involved in a non-violent crime,” Coles said. “This program will keep kids out of the criminal system and not give them a record, in some instances, but will give consequences to their actions.”
The juvenile program will institute a community service sentence through the village instead of offenders going through the court system, which costs families money and gives children a record that could follow them later in life.
An initiative near to the new chief’s heart is a victim notification program.
“You’d be surprised how many departments don’t implement a program like this,” Coles said. “I want the people of South Roxana to know their chief is out there and working for them.”
Coles explained how the program works.
“If our detectives are working a case, be it old or new, and it’s solved, we want continued communication with our victims so they know they’re not forgotten,” he said.
Coles said he understands the importance of trust between residents and officers.
“It’s important that the people know we’re there for them, not just to arrest them,” Coles said. “Peace of mind is important for our residents.”
Added duties for the new chief include overseeing the water and sewer department and being a city administrator.
“I’ve had a lot of experience as an officer, but it’s really refreshing to take on these new tasks,” Coles said. “I am finally in a position that I can make changes throughout the village that are in the best interest of our residents and can also save the village in financial ways.”
Coles said he is looking forward to helping his village grow and bringing new activities to residents and their children.
“We have a new recreation center in the works, so we have a lot coming up,” Coles said. “We’re looking forward to making some positive changes.”
Coles and his wife, Chris, live in South Roxana with their three children, ages 13, 8 and 5. Chris is a stay-at-home mom and their children are enrolled in the local school district.