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The North Park Police Department announced on Tuesday that Ulysses Black will be the new chief of police.

Black has been serving as the interim chief of police since the departure of Jeff Simmons, who left in 2019 to take a spot as Logan City Police Department’s assistant chief of police.

Being one of five candidates interviewed for the position, Black said he was offered the job on Jan. 10.

“I felt very proud to be accepted as the new chief,” Black said. “I’m more than excited to take on that challenge.”

Prior to his role as the interim chief of police, Black said he spent 10 years as an investigator for the NPPD.

When he was asked to serve as police chief in the interim, Black said he treated the position as a permanent one where he might remove the “interim” from his title.

“Our agency, I feel, needs that stability, the citizens need that stability,” Black said. “That was my goal, coming in as interim chief, was to make sure that we were moving forward in a positive direction, being responsive to the community’s needs and making sure we just did our job.”

Black said having a local officer in the position is beneficial for more immediate, positive strides forward. Having already served as the interim chief, the transitional period a new police chief would experience in an unfamiliar department has been thwarted.

“I don’t need to take the time to learn the personalities of the officers, I don’t need to take time to learn their strengths or where we can improve,” Black said. “I’m already aware of those things, so we hit the ground just moving forward.”

Given Black’s 18 years in various roles within the department, Hyde Park Mayor Sharidean Flint expressed in the press release her belief that Black will serve well in the new role.

“He is a man of integrity with an eagerness to serve and a love of our two communities that will serve him well and lead to his success as our new chief,” Flint stated.

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