Chester mayor chooses not to re-appoint popular police chief

Chester mayor chooses not to re-appoint popular police chief
By: Carly O'Keefe
CHESTER, Ill. - Chester Mayor Marty Bert says Police Chief Donal McKinney hasn't done anything wrong; the two just have different goals, objectives and priorities. That's why the mayor's decided not to re-appoint McKinney to his post.
"Sometimes, it's not what you're doing; it's what you're not doing. If you are told to do something-and we had several meetings before I made this decision, but when those objectives and priorities are not met, I have to do what I have to do," said Bert.
The mayor's decision not to reappoint McKinney must first be approved by the Chester City Council. In the meantime, some folks around town are gathering signatures to let their elected officials know just how much they want to keep--as they call him, "Chief Mac" around.
"We stood out at Wal-Mart...we've gone door to door, and everyone's like ‘oh yeah, give it here, if I could sign it 100 times I would'. He's a good man and there's no reason to let him go," said Wendy Dunn of Chester.
Dunn and other volunteers have collected more than 400 signatures so far in support of keeping McKinney on the job.
"Everybody just wants to keep him, and they're doing everything they can to show that they want to keep him," said Dunn.
Signs that say "Bring Mac Back" are also popping up all over town.
"He's gone out of his way to get things for the city, and get things for the police department to expand, to bring it up to the 21st century, he's just who we want, the whole town," said Laurie Randall of Chester.
"There's quite a few people upset about it, he's a life long resident of Chester, he was a patrolman for 30 years, he's a very well-liked person, he's a great guy, but sometimes great guys don't make great administrators," said Bert.
Volunteers hope to present the petitions to city council members at their May 7 meeting.