Police Chief position will be filled

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB — A permanent DeKalb police chief position will be filled by the end of the year, City Manager Bill Nicklas said.

Interim Police Chief John Petragallo has served since June 1 when former Police Chief Gene Lowery retired after seven years in the position.

Petragallo served as the deputy chief since 2015 and has been with the DeKalb Police Department for 25 years.

The city manager has the task of appointing and removing the police chief, while the council then has to vote to make the appointment official, according to DeKalb Municipal Code chapter four.

Nicklas didn’t disclose whether or not he was in search of someone other than Petragallo to fill the role.

Nicklas said he recommended the council approve the interim appointment so Petragallo has a chance to see what the position is like.

Nicklas said the council could also assess how Petragallo performs in the role.

Nicklas recommended a 5% increase in Petragallo’s yearly salary to $141,244, according to the May 28 city council agenda.

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The resolution to appoint Petragallo, along with the salary increase, passed with a 7-0 vote at a May 28 city council meeting.

“[Petragallo] is a doer; he doesn’t just serve and show up,” Nicklas said at a May 28 City Council meeting. “He volunteers; he works hard at everything he’s done.”

The main duties of the chief of police include having the control of public property of the police department, firearms and the books and records of the department, according to the DeKalb Municipal Code chapter four. The chief is also responsible to the city manager for the proper management and efficient operation of the department.

Nicklas said once the calendar year comes to an end, he will make a decision on whether to appoint Petragallo to the role full-time, and council members will vote on the appointment.