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Former Chicago Police captain appointed Forest Preserve police chief

Updated: March 6, 2013 7:34AM

A former Chicago Police captain with advanced degrees from Lewis University and Loyola University has been appointed the new police chief for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

John J. Roberts was to start his new job Tuesday, according to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office. There are 114 sworn officers in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Police Department.

The Forest Preserve District’s previous police chief, Richard Waszak, retired in late last year after 10 years in that job.

Roberts retired from the Chicago Police Department at the rank of captain in 2004, after more than 30 years of service, officials said. He held positions in the operational, investigative, technical support and administrative divisions.

Roberts earned a master’s degree in criminal/social justice from Lewis University and a doctoral degree from the School of Education at Loyola University Chicago. He taught at both Northwestern University and Lewis University, where he served as the program chair of criminal/social justice. Roberts also has served as a public safety consultant and advocate for higher education and continuing professional training for all law enforcement personnel.

“John Roberts’ combination of on-the-ground law enforcement experience and extensive educational background gives him a unique insight into policing,” Preckwinkle said.

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