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Petrilli named police chief in Normal

Steve Petrilli
Incoming Normal Police Chief Steve Petrilli.

The new police chief for the Town of Normal is the current assistant chief, Steve Petrilli. The promotion was announced Tuesday.

Petrilli joined the department in 1999 and has held multiple roles within the department. He replaces Rick Bleichner, who is retiring after three decades with the department and 11 as chief.

"Steve has helped shape the police department’s strong culture of professionalism, integrity and service. The NPD and the Town of Normal will benefit from Steve’s vision, experience and passion to provide exceptional service to our community,” said City Manager Pam Reece in a news release.

Including Petrilli, there have been 17 chiefs of police in Normal since 1925.

Petrilli started as a patrol officer, and has been a recruiter, field training officer, Emergency Response Unit (ERU) team member and a K-9 handler. He made Sergeant In 2007, where he served as a supervisor in the Patrol Division, ERU, Pro-Active Crimes Unit and the Vice Unit. In 2012, Petrilli was promoted to lieutenant and served as a patrol commander until being named assistant police chief in 2015.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead this department," Petrilli said in a statement. "I take immense pride in the police department officers and staff and how they serve and protect our residents daily. I intend to continue a community- and neighborhood-focused approach.”

Petrilli cited a need for community engagement and said it will remain a focus for the NPD.

“You can expect our department to continue our high level of professional service as we positively engage with residents and all stakeholders in our community," said Petrilli.

Petrilli is an ISU graduate and a graduate of other professional schools as well, including the Northwestern School of Police Staff and the FBI Academy.

Petrilli serves as a subject matter expert in the area of first responder health, wellness and fitness. He also serves as a consultant to numerous academic institutions and teaches this content nationwide, according to a Town of Normal bio.

A former college athlete, Petrilli has coached numerous local youth sports teams and has been a strength and conditioning coach for more than a decade. He also keeps bees.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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