Urbana police chief resigns

Urbana police chief resigns

URBANA — Patrick Connolly announced at Monday night’s city council meeting that he’s resigning as Urbana police chief, effective April 14.

Connolly cited family reasons and the upcoming change in city leadership as reasons for his decision. He has been chief since 2010 and with the city for 29-plus years.

In a letter he provided to council members Monday, he said he met with outgoing Mayor Laurel Prussing last week “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.”

Urbana voters will choose between Democratic alderwoman Diane Marlin and Republican Rex Bradfield as their next mayor on April 4.

Connolly also expressed a desire to spend more time with his family, saying: “In short, I don’t want to continue to watch my grandkids grow up through long-distance Skyping or emails.”

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dr. pepper wrote on March 20, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Chief Connolly has done a stupendous job for the City of Urbana and I would like to personally thank him for his dedication & commitment to us residents. However, I can't say that i am surprised at his decision. I am however sad to see him go and scared to see what will happen next. Life is too short to have to continually defend your position, actions, decisions & police force against a felon, council member Ammons, who was somehow able to get a pardon so that he could serve on the council. And shame on Mayor Prussing for appointing said felon. Ammons is a police hater and he's is one of the most prejudice politicians/people that I have ever met in my life. Mr. Ammons thinks that because his wife works in Springfield, that he is untouchable. Not so...I wonder how many people truly know what he received his felony for. Pardoned or not, he still committed the crime. He hates the police because he got caught. I'm also ashamed of the city council members and the mayor for allowing Ammons to continually bash and throw around accusation at Chief Connolly & his police officers. Ammons should have been shut down months ago! Chief Connolly has been on the force for almost 30 years and dedicated those years to serving this community and putting his life on the line for ALL of us, and this is how you repay him? Seriously? Chief Connolly, I wish you nothing but good luck, good fortune & happiness in the next chapter of your life. Enjoy your grand babies, your entire family and your friends. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your service! You sir, should be very proud! To the rest of the Urbana citizens, get out while the gettin is good. I know I will be putting my house up for sale very soon & will be moving out of this dying community. It's going to hell in a kerosene soaked handbasket!

KlaatuSansGort wrote on March 20, 2017 at 11:03 pm

All undercurrents and overtones of politics, if any there be, should be set aside here. This true gentleman first well served in the U.S. armed forces. From there, he served as a probation officer in Champaign County before being hired as a Patrolman for the Urbana Police Department. First hired as a Patrolman, he is retiring as Chief. That would perhaps say it all. Thank You, Sir; for Everything.

Local Yocal wrote on March 21, 2017 at 7:03 am
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Alderman Ammons is no police hater. In fact, he is looking for ways to make the police have an easier time on the job with the dismantling of the The Drug War. Ammons has been consistently asking of the Urbana Police Department to stop racial profiling, something the Urbana Traffic Task Force discovered to be the case, and was confirmed to be happening by the new crime statistician.

To represent constituents in asking for relief from this problem is not equivalent to "hating" the police.

As far as his felony conviction, Ammons has never shyed away from this fact, and for the last 20+ years has committed himself toward his and other's rehabilitation. Ammons has proven to be a servant-leader, with excellent education and experiences to bring to the table. You couldn't get a more educated opinion to design drug policy going forward. In fact, we should be figuring out how to replicate Ammons' growth from addicted dealer to what he's been for the last 15 years- an inclusive leader who takes responsibilty for his actions and his community. 

Ammons is doing an excellent job heading off continued conflicts with the police, and is acting on behalf of the police officers too when Ammons advocates for traffic stop reform and an end to drug prohibition. It is in the best interest of the police to stop earning a reputation as racists, and stop enforcing laws nobody wants, putting them further in disrepute. Urbana citizens are lucky to have Ammons on council.

Ammons has alligned himself with Law Enforcement Action Partnership, formerly Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, (L.E.A.P.) where current and former police officers, police chiefs, state's attorneys and judges- who have fought the drug war- have come out against the drug war's continuation. Ammons' advocacy is backed up by former drug warriors who know better. It's unfortunate Chief Connolly never opened himself to this education.  

wykhb wrote on March 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm

         There is nothing unfortunate about a man who served his country honorably by doing the right things refusing to bow down to criminals who simply want the rules changed to accommodate their deviancy and lack of desire to serve anyone except themselves.
Urbana continually shows what they prefer, so this Chief has made the right decision to go elsewhere as so many others are doing.  His second in command bailed a few years ago.  
  Why bother to do the hard work and honorable things in life when all you have to do is constantly cry racism and be a criminal, which puts you up there as an equal with the suckers that wasted all that time and money to get education and experience? 
It's not social justice, but rather cowardice when people who don't actually contribute to a community can constantly throw tantrums like children and get their way because you will not stand up for yourselves.    

Cheerlead for who you want, but if you live in Urbana you will live in the hole you are digging yourselves and eventually the dirt will in fact spill onto you. 


9to5er wrote on March 21, 2017 at 11:03 am

"Alderman" Ammons, and I use that term loosely, is a racist cop hater as comment #1 states and if you have ever listened to anything that he has said at a Council meeting, you should be well aware of that.  He has continously berated Chief Connelly at EVERY council meeting, as those who watch know, and he has been allowed to do so by the rest of the Council, who should be ashamed of themselves.  Prussing did Urbana a grave disservice allowing Ammons to be on the Council, in a move that not only screamed nepotism, but also replaced one racist with another on the City Council.  

Chief Connelly, you have been wonderful for Urbana and will be greatly missed.  Good luck in all of your future endeavors and good luck to us Urbana citizens, we are going to need it now more than ever.  Urbana is going downhill quickly and I suspect it will only get worse.  

Pointblank wrote on March 22, 2017 at 8:03 am
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Ammons was the first council member to congratulate and thank the Chief for his service.

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on March 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Oh wow.......... AA Ron was first to congratulate the Chief on his retirement.. what a guy.  What a police lover............what did he get arrested for again?


Oh yeah.. Drugs and Guns.  Lets see the pardon paperwork   Oh yeah, no one can find it.


Now  lets remember what Chief Adair ( the chief before)said about "racial profiling"  oh yeah........... thats right.  Police profile behavior  not by race.  Adair would not put up with AA and his mouth.  Pat was too kind to say the same.




AA Ron is quite the man.