Champaign Police Officer Ed Wachala is retiring from the Champaign Police Department after 21 years of public and steadfast police service to the Champaign community.
“It’s been a remarkable journey serving our community as a police officer and working alongside the skilled men and women of the Champaign Police Department – many of whom are now lifelong friends,” said Wachala. “As I leave the department a final time as a sworn officer, I’m taking many positive memories with me and I’d like to thank everyone, especially my family, who have allowed my career in law enforcement to be a success.”
Officer Wachala, who joined the Champaign Police Department in 1997, most recently served as the School Resource Officer for Centennial High School, a post which he has held since 2006. His commitment to providing safe learning environments, valuable resources to school staff members and fostering positive relationship with students has made a lasting impact on our students and community. He is responsible for bringing, coordinating and leading the Champaign Police Department’s “Shop with a Cop” program, which he introduced 16 years ago, affording countless kids and their families the opportunity to have a special holiday experience at no financial cost to them.
During his career, Officer Wachala has received several “Letters of Thanks” and “Letters of Appreciation” from school administrators and parents for his work within our schools. He’s been awarded departmental Commendations for his police work resulting in arrests and for his professionalism and courtesy when working with the public. The City of Champaign has also recognized his work with multiple city awards.
“Officer Wachala is a team-first guy who has been a great example to our young officers of how you serve with unconditional respect, professionalism and selflessness,” said Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb. “For the last 21 years, he’s shown a tireless commitment to his peers, community and especially to our youth, and we’re grateful for all he has done. We wish him and his family nothing but the best.”