Skokie Village Manager John Lockerby today announced the appointment of Brian Baker to the position of Skokie Police Chief, effective November 11, 2020. Baker, who has served as Deputy Chief since June 2014, succeeds retiring Police Chief Anthony Scarpelli. “I am pleased to congratulate Deputy Chief Baker on this well-deserved promotion,” said Village Manager John Lockerby. “His experience with the Skokie Police Department, regional law enforcement leadership and military service will make him an outstanding Chief of Police. I also extend gratitude and sincere congratulations to Chief Scarpelli on his retirement after a long, distinguished career. He has served the community with distinction.” Scarpelli was appointed Skokie Police Chief in 2011, having been a member of the Skokie Police Department for more than 38 years.
Baker began his tenure with the Skokie Police Department in 1994, initially as a patrol officer, progressing to the ranks of sergeant and commander. In those roles, he led investigations, tactical intervention and special operations units for the department. Baker is an active leader in regional law enforcement initiatives. Since 2010, he has served as Team Commander for the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System Emergency Services regional SWAT team that encompasses 69 municipalities in five counties. He has extensive experience with regional terrorism training and communication, serving on several FBI task force groups and committees. He had a lead role in regional security for the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago, receiving a special award from Cook County for his involvement. He serves on the Anti-Defamation League’s Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, and led security operations for the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center’s opening in April 2009.
Baker holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University. He has attended Northwestern University’s Schools of Police Staff and Command, Police Supervision and the University’s Executive Management Program. He has earned numerous awards and honors, including the Chief’s Award of Merit, a Special Service Commendation and a Joint Operations Award from the Chicago Police Department. He served in the United States Army for 23 years, entering service as a Second Lieutenant and retiring with the rank of Major.
"I am deeply honored and humbled to be chosen to lead the Skokie Police Department," said Baker. "The Skokie Police Department is a collection of extremely dedicated and highly trained individuals that care deeply about their jobs and those they serve. My success is a direct result of working side by side with all the department members over my career; they have made me better. I am very excited to take this opportunity and continue to improve upon the service and relationships the Police Department provides and has with all those in the Village of Skokie."