On Monday, March 26, I took a trip to the Illinois State Police District 6 Headquarters in Pontiac, IL including McLean, DeWitt and Livingston counties to meet Captain Suzanne Jansky. Now many of you may not know that name but she is a pretty astonishing women. Jansky began her career with the Illinois State Police in 1985 as a State Trooper. At this time there were very few women working for the State Police so she was definitely a minority, but instead of letting this impede her she used it as motivation to move ahead.
During her twenty-seven year career with the Illinois State Police she had many accomplishments not just for herself, but also for women in general. Jansky was the first female trooper to be promoted to Captain, and went on to be the longest serving Captain with the ISP! She also was the first female district commander, the longest serving district commander and the longest-serving tenured district commander in the State! These are just a few of her many accomplishments during her career.
This past week was her last with the Illinois State Police, after a proficient 27 year career she is retiring. I felt privilege to be able to meet such an accomplished woman in the criminal justice field. A field that is primarily dominated by men! Listening to her stories and the way she talks about her career with the ISP was truly inspiring. I have never heard anyone talk about their love for their career the way that she did. It was clear that she really took advantage of every opportunity and was truly grateful of every experience. Through her stories and experiences it was easy to tell she would be missing the lifestyle she has grown so accustomed too.
As quoted in the Pantagraph, through a statement issued by the agency, Jansky was quoted stating, “I am both grateful and fortunate to retire healthy, positive and exceedingly proud of District 6 and the ISP. There is no doubt these are challenging times, but on a daily basis there continues to be amazing accomplishments made for the greater good.” After a recent health test here in the Illinois State University Kinesiology and Recreation department she received positive health feedback for her retirement. During our time together she stated she would be spending her retirement learning to be a civilian again without all the hustle and bustle of her busy career. She stated enjoys running and wants to train to do another marathon. Jansky also mentioned her three Labrador dogs that she will enjoy spending more time with just as much as they will enjoy spending more time with her. In her officer you could see the love she had for her dogs by the number of pictures covering her office. Like I previously stated it was truly inspirational meeting Captain Jansky before she retired. It was nice to see a woman in a position of power who worked her way up when not many women were given a chance in the police field.