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Family and friends broke into applause after Evanston City Council members officially approved a resolution March 28 that designated a portion of McDaniel Avenue between Nathaniel and Greenleaf streets in honor of William “Bill” Logan, Jr., the city’s first Black Police Chief, for his service to the community.
Council members voted 7-0 in favor of the resolution, designating the portion of McDaniel as William ‘Bill’ Logan Jr. Way.
Installation of the sign is expected to take place in a separate ceremony June 26 at the McDaniel Avenue location.
An emotional Logan joined his son, Gilo Kwesi Logan, and daughter, Cheryl Logan Bottoms, at the speaker’s lectern after the vote, thanking those who were part of giving him the honor.
“I am elated, humbled, and my heart is filled with joy to be recognized like this by my community,” he said.
“My life has been a journey with many challenges and life lessons acquired along the way. And this honor makes it all worthwhile. For me, community service is an important part of my life, the feeling it gives me to help other people.
“The most valuable thing that I have learned is to serve God is by serving humanity, and to serve humanity – by serving my community – that has made me who and what I am.”
Logan joined the police department in 1957 and rose through the ranks. Named Police Chief in 1984, he served in that role three years before retiring to become Director of Safety and Security at Evanston Township High School. He worked at ETHS, his alma mater, for 20 years.
His lifelong service to the community spans more than six decades and includes the co-founding of two community organizations – the Chessmen Club of the North Shore in 1958 and the Fellowship of African American Men (FAAM) youth basketball league in 1967 – that continue to play important roles in people’s lives today.
Before the vote, Mayor Daniel Biss offered his thanks to Logan for his service:
“I think it’s really just an example of what public service is supposed to be – the marriage of all those years given to the city government, to the Police Department, to the community, in that way – but all of the numerous other community organizations you played a leadership role in, understanding that it’s not enough to serve in one way, that it’s not enough to be a role model. And that someone with the talents that you have and heart that you have has the ability and the responsibility to find all these different ways to give and just spend so many years giving so much to this community.”