U. of I. Police Chief accepts new position

URBANA, Illinois – Executive Director and Chief of Police Alice Cary announced today that she has accepted a position with the Silverthorne (Colorado) Police Department as its new Chief of Police. Her last day at the Division of Public Safety will be in late September.

A national search for the next Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police will be initiated. Deputy Chief Matt Ballinger will be appointed pending approval by the Board of Trustees to the role on an interim basis, effective at the end of Cary’s last day.

“It is with mixed feelings that I have accepted a new position in Colorado so I can be closer to family,” Chief Cary said. “I have had a wonderful experience at Illinois, particularly the opportunity to build genuine relationships with people within the Division of Public Safety and in the community.”

Cary assumed leadership of the Division of Public Safety in July 2020. Within her first year, she initiated the launch of the Community Outreach and Support Team (COAST) and the Response, Evaluation and Crisis Help (REACH) initiative. COAST strengthened the department’s community engagement and safety education initiatives, and REACH was implemented as the first co-responder model in the area to strengthen the Division’s mental health support services.

Both programs are now being used as models in police departments across the country.

Cary also provided leadership around an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Champaign to temporarily transfer primary jurisdiction of some off-campus properties from the Champaign Police Department to the University of Illinois Police Department. The expansion of UIPD’s responsibilities in the Campustown area has been effective thus far, with University Police providing service to a primarily college-age population while freeing up Champaign Police resources to be reallocated to other parts of the city.

“We have built strong momentum with new safety initiatives during the past three years, some of which are now being used as models at police departments across the country,” Cary said.

Ballinger has served as a member of the department’s command staff for the last four years, including the last two as its deputy chief. He was hired as a police officer in 2004. In his 19 years with UIPD, Ballinger has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, METRO SWAT commander, and one of the original supervisors of the multi-jurisdictional Street Crimes Task Force. He has won a number of awards for his work in policing, including the 2012 Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor.

Prior to serving the campus community, Ballinger served four years in the Army 3rd Ranger Battalion. In 2020, he completed the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officer course.

Ballinger has worked side-by-side with Cary during the last three years, including on the COAST, REACH and Campustown jurisdiction initiatives. He has strong experience in both street-level police work and administrative roles. During his long tenure on campus, he has formed strong relationships with community members and developed an intimate knowledge of the needs of the university population.

“We have a strong continuity plan in place during this transitional period,” Cary said. “The exceptional staff of the Division of Public Safety is on a solid foundation to continue promoting a safe campus environment where education, research and public service can flourish.”