CFD veteran picked to lead new Public Safety Administration

Annastasia M. Walker will be tasked with overseeing “efforts to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and improve administrative functions” across the city’s police and fire departments, as well as the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

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Annastasia M. Walker will serve as executive director of the city’s Office of Public Safety Administration.

Annastasia M. Walker will serve as executive director of the city’s Office of Public Safety Administration.

Chicago Fire Department

A longtime employee of the city’s emergency service departments has been appointed to lead a newly created public safety office.

Annastasia M. Walker will serve as executive director of the city’s Office of Public Safety Administration, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday. Walker will be tasked with overseeing “efforts to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and improve administrative functions” across the city’s police and fire departments, as well as the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

“I am honored to serve as the Executive Director for this new office so that we can build a safer and stronger Chicago by ensuring the efficiency of our public safety operations,” Walker said in a statement.

The new office will merge the administrative functions of the city’s three public safety departments and will share headquarters with the CPD and CFD in Bronzeville. The office’s creation was announced last October.

Walker has nearly 20 years of experience working in “high-level emergency management and public safety administrative operations” in the city, the mayor’s office said.

Before her appointment, Walker served as chief administrative officer at the Chicago Fire Department, working to manage budget processes, federal grant initiatives, intergovernmental affairs and operations for the city’s public safety departments, according to the mayor’s office.

The Office of Public Safety Administration was set to launch in May but was delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Its opening has been rescheduled for the fall and will be staffed by about 280 civilian employees working in finance, human resources, information technology and logistics divisions.

No civilian personnel will lose their jobs. But the consolidation is expected to generate “savings over time” by replacing sworn officers with civilians and by reducing overtime expected to top $200 million this year for the three departments.

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