Kankakee deputy chief Willie Hunt retires

Willie Hunt

KANKAKEE — Former Kankakee Deputy Police Chief Willie Hunt has landed a new job just a few months into his retirement.

Starting July 1, Hunt will be the director of district safety and security for Kankakee School District 111. He will earn a salary of $80,000 per year.

Hunt, 50, retired in March after serving 24 years on the city of Kankakee’s police department.

This is a newly created position in the school district, but Kankakee schools are a familiar territory for Hunt, who has been a school resource officer for the past 20 years.

“I’m just 50, I’m still young,” he said. “Plus I worked for the district for 20 years, so that was a no-brainer right there.”

Hunt has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Arkansas University and a Master of Arts in organizational management from Ashford University; he is currently working on his doctoral degree in psychology, specializing in criminology and law studies with the University of the Rockies.

As school resource officer, Hunt was a liaison between the school district and the police department.

He also started the Teen Police Academy under former Police Chief Mike Kinkaid and taught the program for three years. The program teaches youth about the inner workings of the police department and gives insight into issues affecting law enforcement efforts in Kankakee.

Superintendent Genevra Walters said the position was posted after Hunt’s retirement, and Hunt was one of several individuals who applied and interviewed for the job with a team of administrators and a school board member.

“He is probably more familiar with the school system than any other candidate,” she said.

Some of Hunt’s duties will include monitoring security cameras, supervising security personnel, acting as liaison between schools and police, and assisting with the implementation of building safety plans.

While his work will be district wide, he will begin with a focus at Kankakee High School.

“Right now, coming out of a pandemic, we need to make sure the high school is secure,” Walters noted.

Hunt said he has been mentoring through his fraternity and the Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s Office, and he would like to continue to play that role in his new position.

“I love my community,” he said. “I love working with kids.”

He also said that while his retirement was “short-lived,” he did get to travel over the past few months and plans to continue doing so when he has time off.

Reporter

Stephanie Markham joined the Daily Journal in February 2020 as the education reporter. She focuses on school boards as well as happenings and trends in local schools. She earned her B.A. in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.