Policing in Lake Bluff
Aug 23, 2023
Matt Smizinski, Lake Bluff Chief of Police
Policing in Lake Bluff

From the Lake Forester, May 31, 2022

The village of Lake Bluff is staying within the department for its new police chief as Deputy Chief Matthew Smizinski has been promoted to the top spot.

At their May 23 meeting, village board trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Smizinski, a nearly 20-year veteran of the force, as Lake Bluff’s 11th police chief, effective June 1. He succeeds the retiring Mike Hosking.

“He has demonstrated over his almost 20 years of his service to the village and in a recent assessment, the knowledge, skills and experience to lead the Lake Bluff police department through our next challenges and opportunities,” village President Regis Charlot said of Smizinski.

Smizinski, has a master’s degree in forensic psychology in addition to two bachelors degrees. In an interview, he traced his interest in law enforcement to an internship where he worked with retired officers and they encouraged him to go into the field. He then was hired by Lake Bluff in 2002.

“I started in it, and felt like it was a great thing to do,” he said. “It has been a great pleasure and privilege to be able to help people and serve a wonderful community.”

Smizinski rose through the department ranks through the years, eventually becoming deputy chief in 2017. He did apply to become police chief three years ago, when David Belmonte retired. However, village officials at the time appointed Hosking — who had retired as deputy chief — as interim chief. But Smizinski’s eventual promotion to the top role was envisioned, according to Village Administrator Drew Irvin.

“The village laid out a plan to further the development of the next generation of leadership within the department; organizationally, we were very close then to being ready and this plan always contemplated Matt as the next department manager,” Irvin wrote in an email, adding the position was not advertised this time around.

Smizinski stated he was excited for the department and the village as his appointment was approved, and he was sworn into his new role.

“It was a great experience, and a great feeling,” he said.

Host: Drew Irvin