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Rockford Chooses Elgin Officer Dan O'Shea As Police Chief

eEgin police department

Rockford's Board of Fire and Police Commissioners announced their pick Thursday for the city's next police chief: Dan O'Shea of the Elgin Police Department.

O'Shea is Elgin's Police Operations Bureau Commander. He beat out Rockford Assistant Deputy Chief Doug Pann for the position. A third finalist dropped out earlier this week after he was offered a contract extension at his current position in Racine, Wisconsin.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey says Pann was a strong candidate, but he thinks the commissioners made a great choice, and he’s ready for O’Shea to take the reins in Rockford.

“I look forward to helping him make the transition as quickly and as effectively as possible, and really hit the ground running,” Morrissey said. "We have a lot of great traditions and experience here in the department, and I think we’re going to have a lot of success working together."

O’Shea would be the first chief hired from outside the department.  Morrissey says Rockford’s police have a great tradition and expertise, but thinks O’Shea brings something important: perspective. 

“Frankly, there’s any number of our command team that could have made for an outstanding selection for chief of police," the mayor said.  "That being said, I think there’s also a lot to be said for another set of eyes coming into the organization,”

Morrissey says he looks forward to working with the new chief as a team to fight the city’s problems.

Morrissey says an agreement with O' Shea has been reached, and the contract is being finalized.  

O'Shea replaces former chief Chet Epperson, who retired last year.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.