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Flossmoor to appoint Estelle as director of police services

At its meeting on Monday, July 1, the Flossmoor Board of Trustees is expected to approve the new position of Director of Police Services; Carl Estelle of Flossmoor will be appointed to the role and start mid-July. 

Carl Estelle

Estelle has more than 30 years of leadership in law enforcement and management. Most recently, Estelle has served as the city administrator of Country Club Hills and the director of security operations and compliance for the City Colleges of Chicago Safety and Security Department.

“Estelle’s proven leadership and management skills, along with his immense experience in law enforcement, will be an asset to the Village of Flossmoor,” Mayor Michelle Nelson said. “I am confident that Carl Estelle is the person Flossmoor needs for the job today; we are excited to have him join our team.”

Estelle was part of the nationwide search for Flossmoor’s chief of police that began in 2022 after the retirement of Chief Tod Kamleiter. Due to the recent 2024 vacancy in the Flossmoor police chief position, the village reexamined the most recent candidate pool, which included Estelle. Estelle interviewed strongly with a panel of chiefs, as well as with the village board. 

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He will serve as Flossmoor’s Director of Police Services, which will include serving as the coordinator of the village’s emergency management agency in which he will work with the Flossmoor Fire Department in the training and deployment of the village’s Emergency Operations Plan and Incident Action Plans. 

His position will be redefined as the Flossmoor Chief of Police after the completion of the Out-of-State Reciprocity program, through which his California-based certifications and experience will be transferred to Illinois. At that time, he will be recognized as a sworn officer, allowing him to assume the police chief position.

Estelle has decades of progressive experience in law enforcement, community policing and collaborative public safety practices. His experience includes several years as an investigator and as the supervisor of investigations. He served six years as captain of police for the city of East Palo Alto, California, where he helped to dramatically reduce crime and acts of violence while addressing risk-management issues and enhancing the police department’s use of technology.

Prior to that, he had served 11 years as the special agent supervisor for the California Department of Justice, where he was commander of the security detail for the state’s attorney general, as well as the task force commander responsible for directing criminal investigations utilizing a multi-jurisdictional team of 25 law enforcement agents. 

Depending on the investigation, he has supervised anywhere from 15 to 200 local, state and federal law enforcement officers. His law enforcement career began as a police officer for the city of Oakland, California, where he spent more than a decade patrolling neighborhoods and working in the Special Duty Unit and with the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force dismantling drug trafficking organizations.

In 2017, Estelle moved with his family to Flossmoor. He served as the assistant director of security at Kennedy-King College in Chicago, supervising 130 employees from 2017-19 until he was promoted to the position of director of Security Operations and Compliance for the City Colleges of Chicago Safety and Security Department. 

For City Colleges, Estelle managed security for seven campuses and five satellite locations. 

In 2020, he accepted the position of city administrator for Country Club Hills, where he manages city services for more than 16,000 residents.

In these previous positions, Estelle was known as a community builder, according to Flossmoor officials. He has been able to create trusted partnerships with members of the community as he developed and outlined new strategies, improving the quality of life for those he served. 

He has also provided implicit bias, procedural justice and restorative justice training for different organizations and has led sessions at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference.

Estelle is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. This prestigious program included advanced leadership and communications training, as well as fitness challenges for participants. 

Throughout his law enforcement career, Estelle received numerous awards from the FBI, DEA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, the International Narcotics Officers Association, the Western States Information Network and the United States Attorney’s Office.

Estelle’s philosophy on policing is centered around a community-based approach. In his professional opinion, policing should prioritize building strong relationships with the community, fostering trust and working collaboratively to address issues and concerns. He believes that policing practices must be inclusive, fair, unbiased and equitable for all residents. To that end, policies and procedures should be implemented that promote procedural justice in all interactions with the public.

“While Flossmoor is generally considered a safe community, addressing property crimes, traffic-safety issues and occasional burglaries and more serious crimes remain a priority,” Estelle said. “The Police Department must evaluate crime statistics to respond appropriately where services are needed, and it must balance proactive crime-prevention efforts with responsive law enforcement.”

To overcome these challenges, Estelle says he aims to embrace technology and data-driven approaches to improve efficiency in crime analysis, resource allocation and predictive policing tailored to the unique characteristics and needs of Flossmoor.

“It is imperative that we foster positive relationships with residents through regular community meetings, neighborhood watch programs and outreach efforts that encourage collaboration and trust between police and residents,” he said. “I have a passion for law enforcement, and I am eager to return to it, especially for my hometown.”

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