City of Joliet Announces New Police Chief

City Manager Tom Thanas announced today that he has appointed Commander Brian Benton to the position of Chief of Police. Chief Benton has replaced Chief Michael Trafton who retired after 28 years of service with the Joliet Police Department.

Thanas stated, “The selection of a new police chief was made from three well qualified commanders in the Joliet Police Department. Chief Benton’s knowledge, experience, and leadership skills convinced me that he was ready for the challenge of leading our Police Department in protecting the residents of Joliet. Chief Benton will join a long line of outstanding police chiefs who have risen through the ranks of JPD to lead the department.” The appointment of Benton is a permanent appointment and not as an interim chief of police.

Chief Benton began his career as a police officer with the Joliet Police Department in 1990. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2000, lieutenant in 2006, and Division Commander in 2008. He most recently served as the Investigations Division Commander and previously served as the Quality Assurance and Technical Services Commander.

Benton has had various assignments throughout his career. He has served as a Neighborhood-Oriented Policing officer, tactical officer, undercover narcotics investigator, patrol supervisor, watch commander, and Narcotics and Tactical Unit supervisor. He has served as a team member since 1993 and is currently the Commander of the Department’s Special Operations Squad (SWAT Team). He also served as the Department’s rangemaster until recently.

Benton earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal/Social Justice with highest honors in 1998 and his Master’s Degree in Public Safety Administration in 2009 both from Lewis University. He has attended various police-related managerial training including the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute of Police (Boston University - 2006), Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command (2003), and Critical Incident Command for Supervisors (2004).

Chief Benton has received various honors and awards throughout his career. While working as an undercover narcotics agent, he received the Illinois MEG Directors Award each year from 1997-2000 for outstanding efforts dismantling major drug trafficking organizations. He has also received multiple Awards of Merit for overseeing a federal drug investigation in 2000 and for the implementation of the Department’s Patrol Rifle Program in 2008.

Benton is expected to begin his new position immediately. “I am honored to serve the residents of Joliet as Chief of Police,” said Benton. “I believe in the importance of working with the community to ensure the safety of our community, and I look forward to leading the fine men and women of the Joliet Police Department towards this goal.”

Brian Benton is married to Alejandra; and they have three children, Marissa, Noah, and Jacob.

The City of Joliet is the fourth largest city in the state of Illinois, located just 45 miles southwest of Chicago’s Loop. Home to over 147,000 residents, in addition to thriving businesses and attractions, the City of Joliet is easily accessible by rail, auto and bus transit. A perfect place to live, work and play, Joliet is constantly striving to promote growth and diversity. For more information on Joliet visit www.cityofjoliet.info or call 815.724.4000.