URBANA — City officials have found a replacement for departing Assistant Police Chief Anthony Cobb, and she is certainly no stranger to the department.
The city council on Monday night confirmed Mayor Laurel Prussing's appointment of Sgt. Sylvia Morgan to the post. Police Chief Patrick Connolly said she will start her new job on March 12, the same day Cobb departs to take the police chief job in Champaign.
"Nobody can fill Anthony's shoes, but if anyone can come close, she will," Connolly said.
Morgan said she's ready for the new challenge. She is a 19-year veteran of the department and has spent the last 12 as a sergeant.
"I'm sure she's going to bring the incredible strength that she already has for the past 19 years," Connolly said.
Alderwoman Heather Stevenson, R-Ward 6, said she is pleased to see the officials are promoting from within the department.
"I just think it's really important for the morale in the department," Stevenson said.
In other business, the council approved a resolution supporting the naming of the federal courthouse for James R. Burgess.
Burgess, who died in 1997, was the first African-American to be elected to a countywide office in Champaign County. He was elected state's attorney in 1972 and was appointed a U.S. attorney in 1977. He also was a commander of the World War II tank battalion that was the first African-American armor unit to see combat in Europe.
Patricia Avery, president of the Champaign County NAACP, said her group has also approved a resolution supporting the action. The city and the NAACP will send their resolutions to the area's U.S. legislators in hopes that they will initiate the process to name a federal courthouse.