Revamped police department starts with new chief

  • Written by Dermot Connolly

randy palmer caption 8-24

Photo by Dermot Connolly

Oak Lawn Police Chief Randy Palmer gestures as he thanks his officers, village officials and residents for their support after he was sworn in at the village board meeting on Aug. 8.



Oak Lawn Police Chief Randy Palmer was officially sworn into office at the Aug. 8 Village Board meeting, about a week after he took over the job.

Palmer’s promotion from chief of investigations was not the only move upward step taken in the department following the retirement of Police Chief Michael Murray at the end of July. It caused a ripple effect. Also sworn in by Village Clerk Jane Quinlan at the same meeting were Lt. Glenn Brothen, and sergeants Michael Fortuna and Patrick Curran, all veterans of the department. Three new police officers -- Mark Walsh, Mark Tadla and Anthony Parmigiani -- were also sworn in.

Lt. Ross Finnelly was also promoted to Palmer’s former role as chief of the Investigations Division and public information officer.

“These are the men and women who make it all possible,” said Palmer following the ceremony, indicating all the police officers assembled in the board room. “I am proud to lead these men and women. We are in good hands moving forward.”

Turning to the many residents in the audience, which included his wife, Trish, and daughter, Maddie, Palmer said, “I look forward to serving you, If you have any ideas (about what we can do better), I am willing to listen. I am open to new ideas. We are excited about what is going on here.”

“I am really excited for your future,” said Mayor Sandra Bury.

She reminded the audience that the new chief is an Air Force veteran who spent 13 years as an investigator and assistant commander of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force. He also is a graduate of the 234th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

“With 25 years of experience, Chief Palmer has a very good reputation. He is very, very well-regarded in the law enforcement community,” said the mayor.

Before becoming chief of investigations and public information officer, during his long career with the Oak Lawn Department, he moved up through the ranks, serving as a patrol officer, watch commander, detective sergeant and supervisor in both the Patrol and Detective divisions.