Maywood Park District Police Chief Jesse FX Ingram has resigned, according to Bill Hampton, president of the park district’s board of commissioners. Although Hampton didn’t specify when precisely the resignation was effective, he indicated that Ingram’s decision happened recently.
Ingram himself confirmed that he had resigned due to “philosophical differences” with several park commissioners. He wouldn’t go into specifics.
Hampton wouldn’t comment on the specific cause of Ingram’s resignation either, opting to wait until he was able to speak with the park district’s executive director, Lawrence Broughton, who wasn’t available for comment.
Ingram oversaw a force of nine, according to his count; seven of his men were certified police officers and two were basically security guards.
The decision may come as a surprise considering as recently as November 2014, he had reported that, after decades marred by corruption, the park police had finally achieved certification with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standard Board (ILETSB).
At the time, Ingram noted that the certification is accompanied by regular training, which entails compliance with basic policing standards, such as ensuring that employees pass background checks.
Ingram said that the rudimentary milestone may have been such a long time coming because of past neglect and a basic “misunderstanding about what it took to be qualified,” among the park police’s previous leaders.
“I wouldn’t say it was an intended act, but there was definitely neglect. They didn’t read [enough] nor did they request assistance from the state to make sure it was right. I just read the whole manual and then called and followed up on what I read and what [the Board] suggested. You can go online and find the manual,” he said in a November interview with the Village Free Press.
So far, there’s been no word yet on who the park commission has in mind to replace him. VFP