Former Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington, who returns to police headquarters as interim chief Monday, says he anticipates he’ll be back on the job for six months or less.

At a 5th Ward meeting Thursday night, Eddington, who served as chief here from 2007 through 2018, praised the interim chief he’s replacing, Aretha Barnes, for her 25 years of service to the department and her willingness to step into the chief’s job at a difficult time, after the mid-year retirement of Chief Demitrous Cook.

Eddington said Barnes had done an excellent job of getting the department going in the right direction.

Eddington said Evanston had been very welcoming to him when he came to the city in 2007 and he felt a responsibility to pay that back when he was asked to take on the interim job.

He said he anticipates being on the job through the selection by the City Council of a new city manager and to give time for that new manager to hire a new person to fill the chief’s role on a permanent basis.

“I’m willing to listen to what the council members and citizens have to say and to tailor services accordingly,” Eddington added.

Carlis Sutton, a 5th Ward activist, landlord and retired teacher, said he was disappointed to see Eddington return and wished the city had gone to the state police to find an interim chief.

“I’m not overjoyed to see you back,” Sutton said, “but I’m willing to give you a second chance.”

Landlord Tina Paden said she hoped Eddington would have some kind of regular meetings with people who have a vested interest in the community.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.