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Local News

Jim Jensen sworn in as new Yorkville police chief

YORKVILLE – A room full of friends, family and colleagues saw a new Yorkville police chief be sworn in during this week's City Council meeting.

The Yorkville City Council voted, 8-0, in favor of appointing Yorkville resident Jim Jensen, a former deputy chief for Oswego Police Department, as the city's new police chief during their meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13. The council also unanimously approved the employment agreement between Jensen and the city.

Jensen said it was amazing to see the turnout for his swearing-in ceremony and to have his family there as well. He said he was kind of at a loss for words and he's excited to get started as Yorkville police chief and still work with the Oswego Police Department in a difference sense.

"I've been there for 26 years, so it's bittersweet to leave," Jensen said.

Jensen assumes the role after the retirement of former Yorkville Police Chief Rich Hart, who also retired the same day as the meeting and received a certificate of appreciation from the City Council before Jensen was sworn into office.

Yorkville Mayor John Purcell said he has known Jensen for a long time from their school days in the city. He said he remembers having a conversation with Jensen shortly after he was elected mayor that, while Jensen wasn't trying to chase out Hart by any means, he wanted to be considered for the police chief job, should the opportunity arise.

Jensen's swearing-in came after Purcell said last month that Jensen was his preference for police chief after reviewing more than 35 applicants for the job. Purcell said during the Tuesday, Aug. 13 City Council meeting that about 15 or 20 of those applicants were former or current police chiefs.

"And in the end, Jim [Jensen] was absolutely the right person," Purcell said.

Jensen earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the College of St. Francis and a master’s degree in law enforcement justice administration from Western Illinois University. He also worked as a patrol deputy for the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office after graduating from the Police Training Institute in Champaign, and he joined the Oswego police department in 1993 as a patrol officer.

Jensen became deputy chief for the department in 2014. He has served as a field training officer, DARE and GREAT Officer, and was the department’s first junior high school liaison officer.

Jensen is the past president of the Kendall County Association of Chiefs of Police and currently sits on the Kendall County Board of Health. He is also a 2007 graduate of the FBI National Academy for police officials in Quantico, Virginia.

Jensen also is no stranger to Yorkville. He is a graduate of Yorkville High School, where he also met his wife Pam, and also is a current resident of Yorkville. They and their two children – Brooke, 20, and Tyler, 17 – also are Yorkville natives.

Jensen officially retired from the Oswego Police Department as deputy chief on Monday, Aug. 12, after serving the village for 26 years, according to a Facebook post from the police department.

"While we will miss Deputy Chief Jensen personally, as well as his many professional contributions to the Oswego Police Department, we can’t wait to see what great things he does for the Yorkville Police Department," the post said.

Jensen said after the swearing-in that his first orders of business as the city's new police chief include "getting to know the men and women of the Yorkville Police Department and working with them, and trying to understand where the department's currently at and moving forward and continuing the work that Rich [Hart] has done."

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