New Braidwood Police Chief Todd Lyons said he’s getting settled into the role, just a few weeks after he was sworn.
Lyons said after the April election, Braidwood’s new mayor, Bob Jones, reached out to him to offer the job of police chief. Despite having just retired from the Wilmington Police Department, where he had worked since 1990, Lyons said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a chief.
“Because of the relationships I had with the guys, it was tough to retire, but I was ready for a new challenge,” he said.
He also liked the idea of following in his father’s footsteps and continuing his family’s ties to law enforcement. Frank Lyons was the chief of police in Wilmington, and Todd Lyons’ mother worked as a telecommunicator for the department.
Lyons said he thought Jones wanted him for the job because of his ties to Braidwood and his professional reputation. He said he’s lived in Braidwood for about 25 years, which has helped with the transition. Residents know him.
Outside of traveling to training sessions throughout his first few weeks as chief, Lyons said his main priority is to rein in the department’s spending and increase its efficiency. He said when he was hired, city officials asked him to close about an $800,000 budget deficit.
“Basically a lot of my time right now is spent figuring out how we can save money,” Lyons said.
The department’s spending effectiveness were major issues in the municipal election in April when the incumbent mayor, James Vehrs, was voted out in favor of Jones. Lyons said that while getting the finances in order, the department will continue to address the opioid epidemic.
“I think more so just having a good relationship with the community is one of the most important things,” Lyons said.