Evanston native sworn in as suburb's top cop

Schenita Stewart was sworn in as the Evanston police chief at a city council meeting on Monday.

Stewart grew up in Evanston and graduated from Evanston Township High School. She most recently served as the deputy chief of police for the East Dundee Police Department. She brings 23 years of law enforcement experience to Evanston, including 15 years in police leadership roles.

Evanston City Manager Luke Stowe appointed Stewart to the role late last month.

"Chief Stewart is an outstanding leader with distinguished service and a deep knowledge of the Evanston community," said Stowe. "She is uniquely qualified to lead our Police Department while strengthening community relationships. I look forward to working with Chief Stewart in her new role."


Stowe announced Stewart's appointment following a six-month candidate recruitment process, which included a community survey on the characteristics desired in the City's police chief, a public candidate forum broadcast online and on City Channel 16, and panel interviews with members of the Evanston Police Department, City management, community members and elected officials.

"I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to serve the community that raised and supported me my entire life," said Stewart. "This great city of Evanston is the lighthouse community that my great-grandparents fled to from Abbeville, SC for a better life. I think that if they were alive they would be proud."

Stewart began her law enforcement career in 1998 as a probation officer with the Cook County Adult Probation Department. She became a patrol officer with the Lincolnwood Police Department in 1999, and rose through the ranks to become deputy chief of the department in 2018. Stewart joined the Village of East Dundee as its deputy chief of police in January 2021. Stewart served on the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force (NORTAF) from 2008 to 2018, including four years as team leader, and was twice honored as the Village of Lincolnwood's "Police Officer of the Year," earning the recognition in 2000 and 2005.

Stewart succeeds Chief Richard Eddington who served on the force for 45 years and retired earlier this month.