A special meeting of the Kankakee City Council (Tuesday) again resulted in the council members voting No for the appointment of Price Dumas as police chief.
It’s the third time since June the council has rejected the appointment made by Mayor Chastity Wells-Armstrong. The mayor immediately re-appointed Dumas on an interim basis.
Alderman David Crawford is now threatening to take the matter to court.
The council vote was 8-6 against. Two other earlier votes also had the council denying the mayor’s appointment.
Dumas has served as police chief since June 2nd. He was with the Illinois State Police. On two occasions — June 19 and Aug. 21 — Dumas’ name was up for vote to have the interim tag removed from his title. On both votes, his appointment failed to gain the needed majority on the 14-member city council. The June vote brought a 10-4 rejection. The gap closed in August, as Dumas was rejected by an 8-6 vote.
Alderman Crawford said the Dumas matter has been extended long enough. He said it’s time to conclude the issue by either voting in favor or removing him from the post.
Aldermen have said he’s not qualified for the administrative position of chief. The mayor counters saying, she’s perfectly satisfied and says Dumas has done a good job.
Crawford has said he believes the majority of the council wants a thorough search for the department's next chief.
Crawford stressed this is not about Dumas being African-American. In fact, many council members who have opposed Dumas believe the city should have a black police chief, he said.
Wells-Armstrong said Dumas has performed well as chief and there simply is no need to expend resources for a search. The cost of a search has been estimated to be in the $12,000 to $15,000 range.