Best announces retirement, set to depart police department next week

Village Board appoints Harseim as next chief of police

COAL CITY POLICE Chief Tom Best [left] has announced his plans to retire from the police department effective July 2. Mayor Terry Halliday congratulated the chief on his pending retirement and thanked him for his years of service to the village and its residents. Sgt. Chris Harseim has been appointed as the village's next chief.

Ann Gill

Tom Best’s days with the Coal City Police Department are numbered.

After 28 years in law enforcement, Best has announced his plans to retire and his last official day in uniform is Friday, July 2.

Best informed Mayor Terry Halliday and the Village Board of his decision to leave his post two weeks ago, and in turn they quickly put together an Ad Hoc Committee to select his replacement.

Based on interviews conducted last week with two candidates, the committee forwarded its recommendation the mayor who announced earlier this evening [Tuesday, June 22] that Sgt. Chris Harseim has been selected to serve as the town’s next police chief.

Harseim will assume the duties of chief as of July 3 and his contract runs through the term of the mayor which is May 10, 2023.

Harseim’s contract was approved by village trustees pending legal review of the terms of his vacation time. The document sets his terms of employment from annual salary [$95,000] to benefits, residency and utilization of a village owned vehicle.

With the departure of Best and Harseim’s move to chief, the Village Board has issued letters to the Fire and Police Board directing them to move forward with the appointment of a sergeant and a patrol officer.