Evanston City Manager Luke Stowe late Friday afternoon announced the appointment of Schenita Stewart as Evanston’s next police chief.
Stewart, who grew up in Evanston and graduated from Evanston Township High School, is deputy chief of police for the East Dundee Police Department. She’ll start her new role in Evanston Oct. 10
“Chief Stewart is an outstanding leader with distinguished service and a deep knowledge of the Evanston community,” Stowe said in a statement. “She is uniquely qualified to lead our Police Department while strengthening community relationships.”
“This great city of Evanston is the lighthouse community that my great grandparents fled to from Abbeville, South Carolina, for a better life,” Stewart said. “I think that if they were alive they would be proud.”
Stewart has 23 years of law enforcement experience, including 15 years in police leadership roles.
She began her law enforcement career in 1998 as a probation officer with the Cook County Adult Probation Department.
She became a patrol officer with the Lincolnwood Police Department in 1999, and rose through the ranks to become deputy chief of the department in 2018.
Stewart joined the Village of East Dundee as its deputy chief of police in January 2021.
Stewart served on the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force from 2008 to 2018, including four years as team leader, and was honored as the Lincolnwood’s police officer of the year in 2000 and 2005.
She’s a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, where she serves on the Rethinking Responses to Common Calls for Service Committee.
She is also a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Police Executive Research Forum and Kane County Chiefs of Police Association.
Stewart holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Chicago State University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Illinois State University.
She is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and Executive Management Program.
Stewart volunteers as a mentor in The Charmm’d Foundation’s Leadership Academy, helping others reach their full potential.
She also teaches community relations to police recruits at the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy.
Stowe announced Stewart’s appointment following a six-month candidate recruitment process, which included a community survey on the characteristics desired in the city’s police chief, a public candidate forum broadcast online and panel interviews with members of the police department, city management, community members and elected officials.
Interim Police Chief Richard Eddington will continue to serve as chief until Stewart begins her new role on Oct. 10.