Rick Tanksley

Senior Advisor, Law Enforcement Consulting

Front-line senior-level expertise in designing, testing and improving best practices in law enforcement, and specifically policing, takes decades to evolve. As a Senior Advisor, Rick Tanksley brings to the firm’s clients an exceptionally broad base of knowledge and experience in building collaborative relationships at the state and local level in law enforcement.

Rick began his career with the Oak Park Police Department in 1984, and after serving in a number of positions including Patrol Commander and Deputy Chief, was appointed Chief in 2001. As Chief of Police of Illinois’ Oak Park Police Department from 2001 to 2016, and concurrently Director of Emergency Preparedness for the city, he changed the department culture to one that is transparent, professional, courteous and respectful toward the diverse community it serves. This valuable change resulted in single-digit citizen complaints regarding officer conduct. Additionally, he led efforts as one of the first local government departments to institute performance measures to monitor police department operations, promote adherence to policies and strategic plans, and create measurable evidence to justify organizational budget requests.

Rick has extensive expertise in organizational change and behavior management, requiring collaborative subordinate involvement at all levels. During his tenure as Chief, he successfully transitioned the Patrol Division from the traditional 8-hour shift to a 12-hour shift, therefore increasing employee productivity, morale and wellness, while also reducing sick time. He also conducted the first department-wide 360-degree feedback survey to evaluate supervisory performance at all levels of the organization. Additionally, during the economic downturn, he was able to create a leaner, more efficient department by reducing sworn positions by 20% while maintaining the same high standard of professional police services.

Rick is a contributing author of Measuring the Quality of Police-Civilian Encounters and Agency Legitimacy: The Platform Public Satisfaction Survey, published by the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. He holds a Master of Social Work Degree from the Jane Addams School of Social Work, University of Illinois Chicago; a Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Concordia University, River Forest. In 2012, he was awarded the Outstanding Community Leadership Award by Concordia University.

He also has participated in numerous executive training courses and seminars, including the prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigations’ National Academy, Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety, Staff and Command and PERF’s Senior Management Institute for Police. In 2008, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police awarded Rick the designation of Certified Police Chief. Additionally, in 2012 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the George Mason University Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy. Rick is a member of a number of professional organizations and is a past-president of the West Suburban Chief’s Association.

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