Chief of police to retire in January

Champaign chief of police R.T. Finney announced his retirement on Friday, effective Jan. 20, 2012.

“It is with great joy and trepidation that I announce my intent to retire,” said Finney in a press release. “I entered into law enforcement over 30 years ago as a civilian employee, and since that time, I have enjoyed working in every facet and position that law enforcement has to offer.”

A committee to be staffed by civilians, city employees and police officials will immediately begin searching for Finney’s replacement. The search is expected to take several months.

Finney joined the Champaign police in 2003 and has had experience in law enforcement around Illinois since 1982. According to the press release, his department received numerous awards and commendations during his tenure. He was recently appointed to the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police as president.

“Chief Finney has had an outstanding career in law enforcement, including the last eight years as the Champaign police chief,” said Steve Carter, Champaign city manager, in a press release. “He has led the department through some very challenging times, with the growth of the city, greater emphasis on police-community relations and addressing recent budget issues.”

Finney and others on the police and city staff could not be reached for comment over the weekend.