News Local/State

Urbana Police Chief Announces Resignation Ahead Of Election


Urbana Police Chief Pat Connolly has resigned, effective April 14. Connolly made the announcement at Monday night's city council meeting. In an emotional statement, he thanked city officials for their support and said the city is in good hands under the remaining police leadership.

In a letter presented to the council, according to the News-Gazette, he said he's stepping down for family reasons and to give the next mayor more flexibility in implementing their vision. Urbana voters will choose a new mayor early next month.

“The great news is, there are 56 (officers) now behind me, who are just as passionate and just as committed," he said. "So as I said, you’re in great hands. Thank you all again.”

After the announcement, council members gave Connolly a standing ovation and praised him for his work.

Alderman Aaron Ammons told Connolly that even though they disagreed on many issues, he respects Connolly's sacrifice and service to the community. 

Ward Seven Alderwoman Diane Marlin thanked Connolly for helping to launch the C-U Fresh Start program, which tries to steer young people involved in violent offenses onto a more constructive path.

"That’s been a ground-breaking initiative," said said. "And you were the first from the city of Urbana to see the importance of that years ago. And you carried it thorugh til today. And that’s part of your legacy. So thank you.”

Marlin is running for mayor against Republican engineer Rex Bradfield.

Connolly was named police chief in 2010, after four years as assistant chief. He started with the Urbana police in 1988.