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DU QUOIN — The Du Quoin City Council has named a recently retired Illinois State Police sergeant as interim police chief for the city.

The City Council appointed Lester Vancil as the city’s interim police chief at its meeting on Monday night. Vancil is serving in the position most recently held by Jamie Ellermeyer, who retired after 20 years with the Du Quoin Police Department. Ellermeyer starts Oct. 2 in the new position of Perry County deputy sheriff, overseeing patrol operations for the sheriff's department.

The City Council plans to hire the city's next police chief sometime between Oct. 9 and Oct. 23, Mayor Guy Alongi said. The city has already received about seven to eight applications, three from internal department candidates, for the post that pays $70,000 to $74,000, Alongi said.

Applications are still being accepted and may be submitted until 4 p.m. Oct. 3, Alongi said.

The Du Quoin Police Department has 11 full-time officers, plus dispatchers, and a current budget of $1.4 million. The next police chief would be the 20th person to lead the department, Alongi said.

Vancil, named a sergeant in 2013, had worked for the ISP for 22 years before retiring in January. Before starting his career with the ISP, he worked for Perry County Sheriff's Office as a deputy sheriff for six years.

He is a graduate of Du Quoin High School and of Southern Illinois University, with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences education and also holds others licenses and certificates, according to a news release from Alongi.

While with the ISP, Vancil served in a variety of capacities, including crash reconstruction officer, control and arrest tactics instructor, range instructor, field training officer and juvenile officer. He also served as a special agent with the Illinois State Police Zone 7 Methamphetamine Response Team and sight safety officer from 2007 to 2013 and led his own Drug Task Force within the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force, according to the press release.

Alongi said Vancil’s resume was very impressive and that he is also a candidate for the full-time police chief position.

"He's got a very well-rounded application," Alongi said.


On Twitter: @scribeest



Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Jackson and Union counties.

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