Elgin police chief to meet with union behind no-confidence vote
The fractured relationship between Elgin Police Chief Ana Lalley and her rank-and-file officers will get a chance for some healing next week.
Lalley announced on her Friday radio show she is scheduled to meet with union representatives for the first time since more than 80% of the 130 union members voted "no confidence" in her. The chief acknowledged an awkwardness since the announcement of the vote one month ago.
"I don't think anyone would enjoy going through something like this," Lalley said. "I'm sorry it's happening in a public forum."
Lalley said she's faced numerous questions from family, friends and the public about the atmosphere of the department and the reasons behind the no-confidence vote. She said there has been no disruption in the service levels the police department provides.
"People are still doing their jobs and doing them amazingly well," Lalley said. "The No. 1 priority is to take care of people in the community and make sure we are a department that people feel comfortable talking to, that they feel comfortable coming forward and providing information to, that they feel safe when we are around, and that the offices are acting in a professional manner."
City officials have pointed to looming union contract negotiations to label the no-confidence vote as a bargaining tactic. But the union has shrugged off that explanation by pointing to "command strategy and decisions" as the driving factor.
Lalley used her radio show to renew a call she made two weeks ago for details about which strategies and what decisions the union members are upset about.
"In life, there's always going to be some type of conflict," Lalley said. "It's how you respond to the conflict. I'm not here to dismiss their feelings, dismiss their thoughts. The goal is to keep the department moving forward."