Carla Redd didn’t always want to be a police officer.
“I was going to go to law school.”
However, about 20 years ago, when some of her friends said they loved their jobs, Carla knew that was the career she was meant to have.
“I mean it was just so much more than sitting in an office Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.”, said Carla, “We had an awesome recruiter who saw something in me when I was a teenager, and he stayed on me until I actually tested for the department.”
Over the past 20 years she’s worked her way up, starting as a patrol officer, to Assistant Deputy Chief at Rockford Police’s District Two station.
“It was rigorous, I’ve never gone through anything like that when I tested for lieutenant, but it was worth it I’d say.”
However, it was the title in between, that holds some weight. Carla was Rockford Police’s first female black lieutenant.
“I want to continue to open those doors, be someone that female officers can look up to, no matter what race they are.” said Carla.
Though, Redd says that’s not what drives her success.
“I just want my work to speak for me, and hopefully I make the place better than it was when I started.” said Carla.
Her colleagues agree.
“Those of us who work with her everyday, it’s important for her to be judged for her talents and her accomplishments, not just because she’s a female or because she’s black.” said Lt. Kurt Whisenand.
“She’s definitely one that officers try to follow after her footsteps, she sets a great role model for the department.” said Lt. Bob Reffedt.
Carla Redd, inspiring 815, by breaking down barriers, one at a time.
“She was one of those people you knew was going somewhere, even back 20 years ago.” said Reffedt.