The Village of Deer Creek gained a new police chief last week after former Chief Brad Potts retired. Potts will be replaced by Dr. Bill Lally. Lally was sworn in at the Deer Creek Community Center on Sunday, May 1st, during a public gathering known as “Coffee with a Cop”. Besides the swearing in ceremony, attendees were able to see a county K-9 and its handler, take a fun mugshot, sit inside a squad car, and even try on a police vest and other gear.
Lally has an extensive law enforcement background. He has been a police officer for 20 years, working in various departments around central Illinois. On top of his experience as an officer, Lally has also earned a PhD in Criminology from Bowling Green State University, where he also received the “Most Distinguished Dissertation Award” in 2014. Lally also holds a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Illinois State University. A profile of Dr. Lally, found on the ISU website notes: “Dr. Lally's research interests explore how race, gender, and class, as social characteristics, can influence legal outcomes. His research includes studies that utilize data from the National Violence Against Women Survey in an effort to propose an integrated theoretical model that has the capacity to predict adjudication outcomes with an acceptable level of credibility.” More recently, Dr. Lally also taught Criminal Justice at Eureka College.
In 2017, Lally made more notable headlines when he decided to shave his head and grow a goatee in order to effectively go undercover for a weekend in the Woodford County Jail. His motivation? Lally was teaching a corrections class and felt like he was “selling his students short” by having to rely on solely on textbooks.