Meet Bryan Carlson, Kenilworth’s new police chief
Kenilworth has been Bryan Carlson’s professional home for his entire law enforcement career. Why stop now?
The 27-year veteran of the Kenilworth Police Department was chosen out of 30 candidates to become the town’s next chief of police.
“The Village Board found Sgt. Carlson to be the best fit for Kenilworth. We look forward to his leadership of our fantastic group of officers,” reads a statement from the Village of Kenilworth.
Kenilworth’s chief for the past nine years (2013-2022), David Miller, retired in September 2022, and while the Village searched for his predecessor, the board named Richard Eddington, a former chief of the Evanston Police Department, as an interim department leader.
The Village Board confirmed Carlson as the new chief during a special meeting on Feb. 23.
“I’m incredibly excited,” Carlson said. “I’ve been here over 27 years and worked my way up the ranks to be now in the top position. It’s been a lot of hard work and dedication and definitely shows it will pay off in the end.”
Carlson grew up in Lake Forest and wanted to be a police officer along the North Shore. When he was ready for a position, both Kenilworth and Lake Forest had openings and Kenilworth called him first, he said.
Carlson said Kenilworth “put on a hard sell” and has continued to win his loyalty for three decades.
Fully staffed, the department has eight full-time police officers, two community service officers, a records clerk and several part-time officers. Carlson said with his promotion, the department will be down an officer and he also would like to hire more part-time officers.
Through his time with the department, Carlson spent time (2001-2012) with the area SWAT unit as well as the NORTAF Major Crimes detail (2012-2023).
He said as chief he hopes to continue what he referred to as an “above and beyond” level of service by the KPD.
“Having great services here is first and foremost,” Carlson said. “We offer a lot of bespoke level of police services that’s concierge-like. We don’t say no to residents here. We handle a lot of non-traditional police services. That could always be higher and better, so improve on that.”
He also spoke about how he’s aware of many departments that are understaffed and he wants to maintain KPD’s experienced and full roster.
“We have a great group of people here,” Carlson said. “It is small, but our most junior officer has 14 years on the job. It’s a very senior department.”
The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.
Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.
Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.
Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319