Oak Park veteran Anthony Ambrose has been named the new Chief of Police. Ambrose, who has served as Deputy Police Chief since 2005, succeeds Rick C. Tanksley who retired Sept. 1 after more than 32 years on the force.
In appointing Ambrose to the post, Village Manager Cara Pavlicek cited his experience in Oak Park and well-established working relationship with community groups and citizens as key factors in her decision. Ambrose’s promotion also means additional senior command opportunities within the organization, which will advance long-term succession plans in the department.
Calling his appointment the pinnacle of his law enforcement career, Ambrose said, “I have dedicated my professional life to the Village of Oak Park. The opportunity to become Chief of Police here is one I have worked toward and am excited to take on. Oak Park is a special community. I am looking forward to continuing our approach to policing that has created a true partnership between Oak Park residents and the officers who serve and protect them.”
Ambrose, who joined the Oak Park Police Department in April 1984 as a patrol officer, has experience in all aspects of department operations. As deputy chief, his responsibilities have focused on administration, including budgeting and training, while also providing highly complex administrative support to Chief Tanksley and Manager Pavlicek.
Prior to his role in administration, Ambrose oversaw the Department’s community policing operations, including the residential beat officer program that includes assigning officers to specific neighborhoods, stationing resource officers in the middle and high schools, and co-sponsoring safety programs through neighborhood meetings.
Ambrose holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Lewis University in Lockport and a bachelor’s degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago. He also has certificates from a wide range of specialized training, including through the FBI and various police-related and professional management organizations. In addition, he is certified by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.