Larry Boone – Chief, Urbana Police Department

Jul 25, 2023

In September 2022, the City of Urbana, IL partnered with POLIHIRE to officially launch the search for their next Police Chief. Small by population (less than 40,000) but cosmopolitan in its diversity, art and culture, and higher education offerings, the City made an early commitment to identifying a leader with a deep belief in both community policing and civilian accountability.

A national search, focus groups with community leaders, and 125+ responses to a community survey culminated in Chief Larry Boone appearing at an Urbana town hall as the finalist for the position. One month later, Chief Boone received unanimous approval by Urbana City Council to begin a two-year term as the City’s new Police Chief.

Chief Boone is a 33-year law enforcement veteran who actually retired from the Norfolk, Virginia Police Department in 2022. Retirement from law enforcement altogether, however, was clearly not in the cards.

Urbana Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin noted Chief Boone’s “approach to community-based policing and willingness to try new ideas” as a key reason why he received so much support. “He’s, I think, a progressive chief and that’s what we’re looking for,” she said.

On the idea of the importance of a police department’s willingness and ability to connect with the people it serves, Chief Boone reflected on his time as the Chief of the Norfolk Police Department. “We became the incubator of community outreach,” he said. “The obstacles that you face with respect to community relations, I faced often in the city of Norfolk,” Boone said. “…I’ve been able to connect — authentically — police, community, city government so that we all work as one, moving in the right direction.”

Looking forward to his new role in Urbana, Chief Boone said, “I will only guarantee you this: that the department you see today will be different going forward. They are some incredible women and men; I’ve met quite a few.”

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