ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Assistant Deputy Chief Carla Redd has been tapped to become the next Rockford Police Chief.
Redd follows the departure of Chief Dan O’Shea, who retired in April.
Redd has more than two decades of experience in law enforcement, and has served as Assistant Deputy Chief since 2016.
Prior to that, she was a lieutenant, homicide and theft detective, and a community services officer.
The position of top cop was something she says she has aspired to from the moment she was recruited to the Rockford Police Department nearly 23 years ago.
“My mom pushed us to do whatever you set your mind to, the sky was the limit, essentially,” Redd said Monday. “Honestly, I was like, ‘hey, I finally made it!'”
She said when she first interviewed with the Rockford Police Department, she told the commissioners then that she wanted the top spot one day.
Redd becomes the first Black woman ever to serve as Rockford’s chief of police.
“I think, for the City of Rockford, certainly, this is, for this time in history-making, to have two females, and to actually have one minority female as well,” said Fire and Police Commissioner Ingrid Hargrove.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity, to be that person and to set an example for so many young people coming behind me, and I’m thankful for those women that came before me and opened the doors, because women haven’t always been in law enforcement,” Redd said.
Redd is a Rockford native who has been with the force for over two decades.
“I love the job that I have,” she said. “I love my city. And, being a native from Rockford as well, [I] definitely want to continue being a part of the change…and get that transition to be back to where we should be.”
She said she’s ready to tackle the biggest issues impacting Rockford. “It’s no secret. Violent crime is a problem here, so that’s one of the things I’m definitely going to hit the ground running with. We’ve got some strategies in place,” she said.
She also says mending the gap between Rockford’s black community and the police department is another focus of her new position.
“So, for those who do not feel like they do not have a relationship with the police department, we have to be able to sit down and have those conversations, and work on building those bridges,” she said.