EDWARDSVILLE - A new police chief was appointed for Edwardsville: Major Jay Keeven of the Illinois State Police.
Keeven has served 27 years in law enforcement and is a lifelong resident of Highland. He is the director of operations for Illinois State Police District 11.
In addition to his training as a state trooper, Keeven received specialty training in investigations, criminal interrogation, executive training and has secret security clearance with the FBI. He earned a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
At District 11, Keeven oversaw daily operations in multiple units and supervised 550 personnel, handling contract negotiations, budgets and investigated complaints and policy violations. He received honors from the state police, the U.S. Department of Justice, an organized crime drug enforcement task force and others.
Keeven said he was honored by the appointment. "I find great value in a life of public service," he said, praising the officers and civilians working in the Edwardsville Police Department. "My family and I are excited about becoming active members of this vibrant community."
Mayor Gary Niebur said 42 applications were reviewed and eight applicants interviewed before he recommended Keeven to the city council. He said Keeven has a reputation as a strong partner, team builder and communicator.
"His personal skills will be an asset that complements the great qualities of the men and women of the department, our team of city officials and most importantly, the residents we serve," Niebur said.
The city council approved Keeven's appointment at its meeting Tuesday.
Keeven replaces former Chief Jim Bedell, who resigned last fall on the day that the FBI and Internal Revenue Service searched his home and office. He served as police chief since 2007, transferring from Naperville. Bedell's resignation followed the arrest and resignation of long-time DARE officer Michael R. Collins on charges of secretly recording women at tanning salons on his cell phone.
Major Don Lask served as acting chief while city leaders searched for a replacement, but Niebur said Lask was not interested in the chief position.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at email@example.com or 239-2501.