Rockford names two women to lead police and fire

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Police and Fire Commission has chosen Carla Redd and Michele Pankow to lead the Police Department and Fire Department, respectively.

Redd has served as Assistant Deputy Police Chief since 2016. Prior to that, she was a lieutenant with the police department, a homicide and theft detective, and community services officer. She has served in law enforcement for 19 years, with a background in criminology and criminal justice.

Pankow has served as Division Fire Chief since 2017, and has served as a firefighter for 24 years.

Swearing in dates have yet to be announced.

The announcement is historic for Rockford, as both Redd and Pankow will become the first women to lead their departments. Anne Arundel County, Maryland, had both a female fire and police chief.

The candidates included:

  • Larry Lapp – Retired Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigations – Chicago Office
  • Jonathan Lewin – Senior Public Safety Advisory, First Responder Network Authority
  • Carla Redd-Miller – Assistant Deputy Chief, Rockford Police Department
  • Kurt Whisenand – Deputy Chief, Rockford Police Department

For Fire Chief, the candidates are:

  • Trent Brass – Captain, Rockford Fire Department
  • Kyle Hill – Captain, Rockford Fire Department
  • Matthew Knott – Division Chief of Administration and Fire Prevention, Rockford Fire Department
  • Michele Pankow – Division Chief of Operations, Rockford Fire Department

The board hired an external company, called IOS Solutions, to help with the process.

Each candidate were evaluated using a scoring system based off their qualifications, experience, and training.

Interim chiefs are currently running both departments. Police Chief Dan O’Shea retired in April.
Fire Chief Derek Bergsten is now leading a department in Colorado.

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