New LP police chief takes reins from retiring veteran

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — There’s a new chief in town, a familiar face to city residents involved with the Lincoln Park Police Citizen’s Patrol Watch.

This will be the final week at the station for Police Chief Thomas Karnes, a lifelong Lincoln Park resident and 30-year department veteran. Karnes first wore the chief badge in 2004, and Mayor Patricia Diaz Krause said she understood it was time to call it a day.

“About three months ago he gave his resignation, he’d been talking about retiring,” Diaz Krause said. “He’s been in the department for a very long time.”

Karnes joined the department in 1981 after graduating from Lincoln Park schools and receiving a criminal justice degree from Madonna College (University). During his decades of service Karnes attended numerous training courses including one offered by the FBI National Academy.

Consistency will continue with the appointment of Lt. Brian Hawk as chief, a tenure beginning this week. Hawk is a 20-year veteran of the Police Department as patrolman, detective, internal affairs and as supervisor of the department’s Citizen Patrol Watch.

Hawk will reportedly serve as interim chief pending confirmation of a permanent appointment.

(James Mitchell can be reached at