A 21-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) has been named to lead the 22nd District.
Lt. Daniel Godsel, 43, is currently serving as the acting commander of the district following the retirement of Commander James Gibson on Aug. 15. His appointment to the post is expected to become official in the near future.
A native of St. Thomas More Parish on the Southwest Side, Godsel currently resides on the Northwest Side of the city with his wife and four children, he said. He is a graduate of Quigley South High School and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Godsel also holds a master’s degree in public safety administration from Lewis University.
Godsel joined the police department in 1991, he said. During his career, he has served in the 21st, 25th, 12th, 2nd and 11th districts and has also received assignments with the central control group, education and training, mobile strike force and the Area 3 saturation team. Before his promotion to Commander of the 22nd District, Godsel said, he was in the 25th District as the tactical lieutenant.
“I’ve had a lot of great assignments,” Godsel said. “The department has been very good to me.”
Godsel said he is looking forward to continuing the work of his predecessors in the district.
“My big focus is to make inroads with the community,” he said. “The goal is always to have zero crime; even though it’s not completely realistic, that’s the goal we’ll be working toward.”
19th Ald. Matt O’Shea, who met with the new commander on Aug. 29, said he believes he will enjoy the same strong working relationship with Godsel that he enjoyed with Gibson.
“I’m excited to have someone young and aggressive,” he said, “and who has come up through the ranks.”
Godsel is well respected in the department, O’Shea said, and is known for his no-nonsense, hands-on approach.
That mentality will resonate in the 19th Ward, O’Shea said, where residents are engaged with personnel from the district and appreciate seeing beat officers patrolling 95th Street and Western Avenue on foot.
“We live in a safe community, but there is crime,” O’Shea said. “I think it’s important for the commander to be engaged with the community.”
When he’s not working or spending time with his family, Godsel said, he is an avid reader, runner and triathlete. He frequently bikes the North Branch of the Chicago River, he said, and completed an Iron Man triathlon in Sandusky, Ohio, last year.
Godsel is also an accomplished artist who has been featured in a number of Chicago newspapers. His work includes oil and watercolor representational paintings and silverpoint drawings, he said, and has been exhibited in numerous juried shows in and around Chicago.