City of Paris hires first female police chief, Robin Ellington takes office in January

Alex Gladden
Robin Ellington

The first female Paris police chief will take office at the beginning of the new year. 

Lt. Robin Ellington is replacing Chief John O’Brien, who has held the position since 2000. That makes him the longest-serving chief in the town’s history, Mayor Daniel Rogers said. 

Ellington is joining the approximately 300 female police chiefs in the nation, according to 2019 statistics from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. 

“I’ve got a great team of guys that work hard, that trust me, that are willing to do what we need to do to keep on keeping on,” Ellington said. 

She started with the department in 1995. Ellington left to work for Logan County Sheriff’s Office in 1996 and came back to Paris in 1999. She’s worked as lieutenant, the second in command, since 2002. 

“She’s the one that I could step away for a week off out of state and not worry about a thing,” O’Brien said about Ellington. “I think she’ll do fantastically well.”

The city council will officially confirm Ellington as the police chief at the first meeting of 2021. 

“I feel like, not only has she earned the job of chief of police, I feel like she’ll be a great asset to the community,” Rogers said. 

Rogers said he and Ellington share a vision for how they want the department to move forward. Part of that will mean continuing to focus on pushing hard drugs out of the community. 

“Of course we want to continue the fight against the drugs,” Ellington said. 

She also said she wants the officers to interact more with the people. 

“I want it to be where the officers participate more with the community,” Ellington said. 

But Ellington doesn’t plan to make any large changes to the department, she said. 

Ellington brings her more than two decades on the force to the position as well as her leadership experience. 

She said “just having your team behind you,” makes a big difference. Ellington will lead the eight full-time officers in the department. 

Ellington also brings a woman’s perspective, she said. 

“She can do everything that a male chief can do,” Rogers said. “She’ll be a great leader. I have no doubt about that.” 

Ellington is honored to be the first woman to be the police chief, she said. 

“A woman can do anything they can put their mind to,” Rogers said. 

Rogers said he thinks that the department is in the best place that it’s been in his decade as the mayor. 

“I like where the police department’s at,” Rogers said. 

Ellington said she’s been lucky to have been guided by O’Brien. 

“And I’ll still be around if she has any questions, or if she needs to know where to find something. I’ll be able to help her all she needs,” O’Brien said. 

Rogers said he thinks that Ellington will be a great replacement to O’Brien’s years of service. 

“I feel like if you’re able to hang in there that long and stay under that many administrations I think you’re doing a good job,” Rogers said about O’Brien. 

Ellington is ready for the position, Rogers and O’Brien agree. 

“I’m very honored,” Ellington said. She continued “but I’m ready to accept the challenge.”