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Huffman named interim St. Charles police chief

ST. CHARLES – Longtime St. Charles Police Department employee Steven Huffman has been named interim police chief, the city of St. Charles announced Wednesday afternoon in a news release.

City Administrator Mark Koenen made the appointment.

"Steve’s appointment will provide excellent continuity during this time of transition," Koenen said in the release. "His experience, knowledge and commitment to the safety and security of the St. Charles community are evident in his many years here in the police department."

Huffman will fill in for outgoing Chief Jim Lamkin, who will end his employment with the city this month to serve as Schaumburg's police chief. A farewell reception for Lamkin is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Friday in the Municipal Building, 2 E. Main St., St. Charles.

Huffman joined the police department in 1993 as a patrol officer and rose through the ranks. He has held such positions as detective sergeant in charge of investigations, deputy chief of operations and, most recently, deputy chief of administration.

Lamkin said he has worked with Huffman since he joined the force a little more than a decade ago. He said Huffman has a leadership style and sense of open communication that will work well for the city.

"Obviously, when there's a departure from my position, we need to have somebody in place," Lamkin said. "The city administration interviews both deputy chiefs. Both are certainly qualified, and both would have done a good job. [Huffman is] up for the challenges ahead, and he has a good head for it."

Dave Kintz serves as the department's deputy chief of operations.

St. Charles will begin seeking applications for police chief after Jan. 1. The goal is to fill the position in the spring. St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina said the City Council plans to move forward with a full search for a permanent chief.

"We'll craft that carefully, of course, and the city administrator will take the lead on that," he said.

Rogina said the city plans to look both internally and externally as part of the search, and Huffman would be considered for the permanent position if he wishes to be a candidate.

"We're going to do a search. That suggests that we're going to hopefully find the best candidate available," Rogina said. "That could be somebody internally, or that could be somebody externally."

He said the city's administration has yet to determine if and when Huffman's post as deputy chief of administration would be filled.

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