NORTH PARK — John Escalante, former interim superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, has been named police chief at Northeastern Illinois University, the school announced Tuesday.
“John Escalante has a national reputation in the field of law enforcement for his experience, integrity and leadership,” Sharon Hahs, outgoing Northeastern Illinois University president, said in a statement. “We welcome him to the Northeastern Illinois University community as we work together to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty and staff.”
Escalante will retire from the Chicago Police Department, which he joined in 1986 as a patrolman. He stepped in as interim superintendent from December 2015 through March 2016 and holds the rank of first deputy superintendent.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson reacted to the news with what he called "bittersweet emotions."
"Our police department will lose a very dedicated and intelligent crime fighter who cares deeply about the people and safety of our city," Johnson said in a statement.
"However, as a friend and father of college-aged children, I would be grateful knowing that John Escalante is the man safeguarding their college experience and future," Johnson said.
"On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, I wish him the very best and thank him for his invaluable contributions to the city," said Johnson.
Escalante's hiring at NEIU takes effect Sept. 7. He joins the university as NEIU prepares to open its first residence hall, with on-campus students likely to pose new safety challenges.
He replaces James Lyon, who spent 10 years at the university before leaving in March for Georgia's Augusta University. Escalante's salary will be $121,758, according to a university spokesman.
His salary at CPD was $197,724 according to the city's salary database.
NEIU, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., enrolls 10,000 students.
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