After more than 20 years of service to the City of Champaign, Interim Chief of Police Matthew Henson has announced his intention to retire effective December 16, 2021. Henson has accepted a new position as Director of the Coles-Moultrie County Emergency Communication Center (Coles-Moultrie 911). City Manager Dorothy Ann David has announced that she will appoint Deputy Chief Tom Petrilli to serve as the next Interim Chief of Police effective on that same date. Petrilli is another 20-year veteran of the Champaign Police Department and currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Operations
“I want to commend Chief Henson on his long career in public service and wish him the very best as he embarks on this new opportunity,” said City Manager Dorothy Ann David. “Chief Henson has filled the role of Interim Police Chief exceptionally well, demonstrating his long-standing commitment to our community and the Champaign Police Department. I am extremely appreciative of his contributions to our City. I also want to thank Deputy Chief Petrilli for agreeing to fill the Interim Chief role while the recruitment of a permanent Chief of Police is underway. I have the utmost confidence in Chief Petrilli’s ability to lead the men and women of the Champaign Police Department during this period of transition.”
Deputy Chief Tom Petrilli said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this talented department while the search for a new police chief is underway, and I want to thank City Manager Dorothy David for her leadership and trust as I prepare to assume this responsibility. Though our department is in a period of transition, the expectations our community has of us remain high, and appropriately so. Our commitment to providing excellent public service and building upon our valued community partnerships will not waver, and I look forward to continuing the City’s important work while supporting the hardworking women and men of this department as the Interim Chief of Police.”
Interim Chief Henson added, “It’s been an honor to serve Champaign for over two decades and to work alongside the tireless, hardworking professionals at the Champaign Police Department and so many in the community who are invested in this city’s success. I want to extend my gratitude to City Manager Dorothy David for her leadership, as well as my appreciation to everyone who has helped guide me throughout my career.”
Deputy Chief Petrilli began his law enforcement career with the Champaign Police Department in 2001. He has served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Detective, Patrol Sergeant, and Lieutenant. Most of Petrilli’s career has been in the Patrol Division, where he has served in various capacities serving Champaign’s residents. During his time in the Patrol Division, he was involved in several specialized units, including the Community Assistance Team, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, and was a Field Training Officer. Promoted to Sergeant in 2012 and Lieutenant in 2017, he oversaw the field training and evaluation program from 2012-2017 and served as the Patrol Division Administrative Lieutenant. He was subsequently promoted to Deputy Chief of Administration and Professional Standards and later Deputy Chief of Operations. In 2019, Petrilli completed the Northwestern Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command.
Henson has served as Interim Police Chief since August 6, 2021, when former Chief of Police Anthony Cobb resigned to accept a position with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
The City is currently conducting a nationwide search to recruit a new Chief of Police. Applications for that position are being accepted through November 24, 2021. More information about the status of the Chief of Police recruitment can be found at champaignil.gov/policechief.