Police chief resigns

URBANA -- Patrick Connolly announced at Monday night's city council meeting, he was stepping down as police chief effective April 14.

In his resignation letter to the council, he stated, "Last week, I met with the Mayor to discuss with her the fact that I was weighing the possibility of resigning my position prior to the end of my term. I expressed to her that regardless of the outcome of the upcoming election, I felt the new administration should have the flexibility to build the Department in their vision." 

He also said he wanted to focus more on his family, and doesn't want to "continue to watch my grandkids grow up through long distance Skyping or emails."

Connolly has been the city's police chief since 2010, and has been on the force for over 29 years. 

Here's the full text of the letter:

First and foremost, I sincerely thank you for allowing me to represent the City of Urbana for the past 29 plus years. It has truly been an honor to serve the members of this community. After considerable contemplation and discussion with my family, I am respectfully tendering my formal resignation as the Police Chief with an effective date of April 14, 2017. As with everything in life, timing contributes significantly to this difficult decision. Last week, I met with the Mayor to discuss with her the fact that I was weighing the possibility of resigning my position prior to the end of my term. 

I expressed to her that regardless of the outcome of the upcoming election, I felt the new administration should have the flexibility to build the Department in their vision. An equal, if not greater factor in my decision is the fact that during my entire career, I have had the full support of my family, who understood that my commitments to this City and its people would often come at a cost to them, and that there would be many special occasions and just every day experiences that I would not get to witness firsthand. 

I cannot thank them enough for that support and for their patience all of these years. But, the husband, father and grandfather in me now need to take priority over the public servant. In short, I don't want to continue to watch my grandkids grow up through long distance Skyping or emails. 

Upon hearing my concerns, the Mayor indicated that she understood my dilemma, and she encouraged me to do whatever I believed was in the best interests of my family and me. I assured her, as I assure you all now, that the leadership team currently in place in the Department is comprised of some of the best officers I have ever worked with. I would not be able to leave the City with any peace of mind unless I was so utterly confident that I am leaving the City in good hands. Thanks again for an incredible run. The few loose ends I have to wrap up in the next couple of weeks will be a fitting closing to a blessed career. The citizens in this community should sleep well at night knowing that the men and women of the Urbana Police Department are the best in the nation.


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