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Art Howell began his career with the Racine Police Department and is ending it as the Chief of Police. As of today, he is retiring. Howell is the first African American to be elected and to serve in this position. He has worked 36 years in blue, nine of them as Chief. His dedication has contributed to the success and to the growth of our community.

Today, we acknowledge his contributions in different ways. Mayor Cory Mason proclaimed March 31, 2021, Police Chief Art Howell Day in the City of Racine. In addition, the Racine County Eye honors him as this week’s Hometown Hero.

Progressive and Community Orientated

Howell’s action, to better the community, came long before earning the Chief ranking. He started his career as a patrol officer. Later on, Howell played a key role in developing the gang diversion unit in addition to implementing the Community Oriented Policing Model. Throughout Howell’s career he has personally developed and advanced through the police department ranks.

Chief Howell has been active and present during the community’s biggest successes. Howell’s focus has been on prevention, innovation, community engagement, and partnership building. The efforts and steps he has taken throughout his career built a bond between the community and his department.

During times of hardship, Howell has served as a peacekeeper and has provided unity. Like a strong leader does, he has made an impact on those living in Racine. There is no doubt that what he has contributed to Racine community will go on to impact future generations.

Words of Praise

Community leaders acknowledge that his position was well served. Here is what they have to say:

“His progressive leadership in the department contributed to record lows in violent crime, increased transparency and dynamic public-private partnerships that improved the quality of life for Racinians. The City of Racine has been well served by Chief Art Howell,” 

Alderman Trevor Jung. 

Art Howell has been one of the most, if not the most consequential and impactful Police Chief in the history of our city. He is of the community, grew up here, rose through the ranks and earned all of his advancements, sometimes in-spite of significant obstacles along the way.  He has been a strategic implementer and leader of nationally recognized innovations, an inspiration to many across the community, an invaluable counselor to community leaders, and a voice and presence of calm and stability for the entire city in times of stress. Chief, thank you for blessing us all with your service to us! You will be dearly missed as Chief, but I am so grateful that you will occasionally lend your talents, time and passion to our community during your well-deserved retirement,” 

Jeff Neubauer, Executive Director of Higher Expectations for Racine County.

Community Farewell

To acknowledge his service, members of the Racine Police Department, friends, family, and the community gathered to wish Chief Howell a bittersweet farewell. Due to COVID-19, a retirement drive by was held outside of the Racine Police Department.

Those who were able to make it wished Chief Howell a happy retirement, from a distance. A line of cars, including squads and paddy-wagons, paraded down Center St. thanking Howell for his service. A few tears were shed by the Chief on his last day at work.

Reflecting on what Chief Howell has done for our community, we can’t help but to say thank you for the outpouring love and commitment. Here are photos from today’s event:

Howell’s Retirement Drive-By