By Dan Campana
It might be an understatement to suggest Ana Lalley grew up in the Elgin Police Department.
Since 1996, she’s worked patrol, drug investigations and, in the last decade, held many administrative ranks on the way to being appointed commander in 2012. Since then, she’s managed each of the department’s operational divisions.
Her professional milestones are matched by a strong educational resume that includes a master’s in criminal justice administration – she currently working on her second master’s – and her status as a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police and the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command. She’s even taught criminal justice courses at Elgin Community College since 2008.
Now, Lalley’s about to reach a new career pinnacle.
At a Tuesday ceremony, Lalley will be officially promoted as the Elgin’s new chief to fill the top cop spot vacated earlier this year by former Chief Jeff Swoboda. Interim Chief Bill Wolf has served in the role since Swoboda departed for Colorado in May.
With her next chapter about to begin, Lalley took a few moments for a TTN Quick Hits Q&A.
Ten Two News: What got you into law enforcement in the first place? What’s kept you engaged in it?
Lalley: “I was initially interested in going to law school and becoming an attorney. I was studying criminal justice at College of DuPage and Illinois State University, and I really enjoyed the field of criminal justice, so I tested in Elgin and was hired. I love being able to work with the community in a variety of ways from solving problems to community events. This is a profession where you can effect change and have a positive influence in your community and agency.”
TTN: Your entire career has been in Elgin. How meaningful is it to have risen through the ranks with one department and become its chief?
Lalley: “It is exciting and humbling. I love this department, the people in it, and the community. I am honored to be selected to serve as Elgin’s next police chief. I have lived and worked in the City of Elgin for over 22 years, and as a community member I have a personal interest in continuing to make the police department one of the most innovative and progressive departments in the country.”
TTN: What are your goals as chief?
Lalley: “The Elgin Police Department is comprised of tremendous people who are dedicated and committed, and Elgin has an amazing community. I want to continue the momentum of our community engagement efforts and our philosophy of being leaders in our profession in all arenas.”
TTN: How do you describe Elgin to those who don’t know much about it? Why have you stayed all these years?
Lalley: “Elgin is a great place to live and work; a community that is engaged and a city that works together to solve issues. We have many events and activities year round – including (Elgin’s large Halloween celebration) Nightmare on Chicago Street, which is my favorite – that highlight our diversity and culture. It is the ‘City in the Suburbs’ with so many opportunities to be part of the community.”