A 28-year veteran of the DeKalb Police Department has been selected to lead the City’s new Crime-Free Bureau.
Bob Redel, a Commander in the Police Department, was introduced as the Bureau’s Director at Monday’s City Council meeting. Joining the Department as a Patrol Officer in 1994, Redel rose through the ranks, serving as Acting Police Chief from June 2020 through May 2021.
City Manager Bill Nicklas said Redel has had an impressive career of public service where he gained a deep knowledge of the community while working with other agencies and showing compassion when making difficult decisions.
“In his decades of community work, Bob has come to know many of the community’s landlords and apartment managers,” said Nicklas. “He will seek accountability and fairness and will be dedicated to the collaborative process that recently prevailed in the revision of the Crime-Free ordinance.”
Nicklas said Redel’s leadership skills were nowhere more evident than during his time as Acting Police Chief, assuming the role as local activists gathered in protest over the murder of George Floyd. Redel’s first official act was to ask those present to kneel together in solidarity against police brutality in America. He then led the reorganization of the Police Department towards greater community engagement, transparency and behavior health programs.
Redel will bring his compassionate leadership to the Crime-Free Bureau.
The initiative will hold landlords accountable if they refuse to take action to prevent crimes from occurring at their properties. At the same time, the program includes protections for crime victims. It will not apply to calls related to domestic and sexual violence, crime victims, child abuse or calls from disabled individuals and those in need of police services.
The program also recognizes landlords who are working to create safe places to live with the inclusion of provisions to make sure landlords are not fined when they show efforts are being made to prevent crime.
Mayor Cohen Barnes said Redel brings the right balance to his new role.
“Bob, knowing our community for as long as he has and knowing the landlords, he’ll be able to work with all the great landlords to help them however we can,” said Barnes. “But then again, the problematic landlords that have caused us so much of a headache in our community, I’m really looking forward to dialing up our game when it comes to accountability in the City of DeKalb.”
Redel will retire from the Police Department and then take his new position in City Hall on Nov. 27.
Photo: Bob Redel was introduced as the new Director of the Crime-Free Bureau at Monday’s DeKalb City Council meeting.