The new chief, who will have a starting salary of $50,000, was selected from a field of 22 candidates for the job left vacant by the June 7 resignation of David Schneider. Belvery comes from Creve Coeur, where he worked for 20 years, including a stint as interim chief.
Among Belvery’s first tasks will be reviewing the department and three part-time officers who were laid off in June as part of the department’s reorganization, said Phelps.
Under a contract with Lexington, the McLean County Sheriff’s Department has provided patrols and police services to Lexington since the local department was effectively closed. That agreement will likely continue until early September.
Phelps said he hopes the department can move forward and return to professional standards that give people confidence that their complaints will be effectively handled.
Issues surfaced with Schneider’s administration after Emery notified Lexington Mayor John Mohr that reports of burglaries and other crimes were not showing up in the county’s computerized reporting system. The lack of reporting hindered the sheriff’s department and other agencies, including state police, in linking potential crimes.
More than 100 reports have not been entered into the network since 2008, Emery told the mayor. The incidents included sex offenses, property and drug crimes and domestic violence incidents. The sheriff’s department expects to complete its review of the reports by the time Belvery arrives to determine if charges can still be filed on any of the potential crimes.
The local agency also has issues with its evidence room where drugs, cash, guns and other items collected during investigations were left unmarked.