A 15-year veteran of the Woodstock Police Department was promoted to deputy chief of police this fall, making him the second person currently holding that rank in the department.

Deputy Chief Ray Lanz was sworn in at a Sept. 19 meeting of the Woodstock City Council. Lanz, who is handling operations related to the patrol division, joins Deputy Chief Jeffrey Parsons, who is handling services such as investigations and records.

“I’ve gotten to do a lot of things as a patrolman on the road. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it, I’ve done more than a lot will ever get to,” Lanz said. “… At this point in my career, being the person behind the scenes to help patrol function at a high output is where I think I need to be.”

Police Chief John Lieb said adding a second deputy chief — a position which had long been part of the city’s plans but which was put on the back burner for years due to budgetary constraints — will help the department function more smoothly.

“We’re going to be able to provide that premier supervision that our officers and sergeants need,” Lieb said. “On top of that, we’ll be going through an accreditation process [through the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police] that wouldn’t be possible with just a chief and a deputy chief.”

Lanz said he opted to forgo the typical deputy police chief’s uniform of a white shirt in favor of a dark blue shirt like those worn by patrol officers.

“There’s definite purpose behind the blue,” he said. “… Day to day, I’m going to wear blue, because my thought process is I’m in charge of patrol, I’m going to look like my men and women that I’m in charge of. I don’t view myself as different from them, just my job responsibilities have changed. In my heart and mind, I’m still a patrolman.”

Lanz previously held the rank of patrolman and patrol sergeant for the WPD, where  he has spent the entirety of his police career. He also was the department’s first K-9 officer, partnered with police dog Brinx. When Brinx retired, he went to live with Lanz and his family.

“You wear many different hats in this profession,” Lanz said.

Lanz received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Findlay and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University. He will attend the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Police Staff and Command in 2018.

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