(L-r) Deputy Chief Edward Jenkins, Chief of Police Vincent Balbo, and Sheriff Oscar Martinez

Vincent Balbo is new Lake County Chief of Police

Contributed By:The 411 News

Brings a long career with Dept. of Justice and Drug Enforcement Agency

After a long stint with the DEA, Vincent Balbo returned to the agency where his law enforcement career began, in 1979. Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez swore in Balbo as the Lake County Chief of Police on Monday.

Balbo's work in federal drug enforcement, from 1989 to 2016, likely played a major part in his selection by Martinez.

Work as a county narcotics task force officer led to his joining the Dept. of Justice in 1989, assigned to the Northern District of Indiana and Chicago metro area as a drug enforcement agent.

Balbo became a group supervisor in 1999 overseeing drug trafficking investigations. In 2005, he was one of 5 DEA group supervisors deployed to Afghanistan to train DEA special agents and their Afghan counterparts targeting opium traffickers and their funds.

In 2011, Balbo was named chief of the newly formed Chicago Strikeforce, 100 agents targeting violent drug trafficking organizations. Balbo retired from the DOJ in 2016. Until Friday, January 3, he was Director of School Safety and Security for the School City of East Chicago.

The new police chief counts the 3 years with the East Chicago school district as helping him prepare for the job. “It was a huge learning experience. I didn’t see this side working with adult criminals.” By making law enforcement more visible, Balbo believes the department can provide support programs to decrease the risks for kids heading in the wrong directions.

Balbo takes over from the former Lake County Chief of Police William Patterson, a 22-year veteran of the county sheriff's department.

Balbo lives in Valparaiso.

Balbo with Lake County Jail officials Deputy Warden Human Resources Kimberly Cox, Warden Michael Zenk, and Deputy Warden of Operations Kimberly O’Connor

Story Posted:01/06/2020

» Press Release Homepage

Add Comment

Name (Required)  
Comment (Required)  

View Comments