Duluth police promote two to lead crime units
Women will occupy two of the most important positions in the Duluth Police Department. On Friday, Sgt. Leigh Wright takes over the Violent Crimes Unit and Officer Ann Clancey will be promoted to sergeant as the supervisor of the Sex Crimes, Abuse...
Women will occupy two of the most important positions in the Duluth Police Department.
On Friday, Sgt. Leigh Wright takes over the Violent Crimes Unit and Officer Ann Clancey will be promoted to sergeant as the supervisor of the Sex Crimes, Abuse, Neglect [SCAN] and Domestic Violence Unit.
Deputy Police Chief Mike Tusken said the pair's varied departmental experience, accomplishments and proven skills of working well with people led to their appointments.
"Leigh has proven time and time again if she is given a position she puts her heart and soul into it and is successful," Tusken said. "We have complete faith she will represent the community and victims very well.
"Ann is passionate about handling family and sex crimes. We feel that she has a portable skills set and we could have put her in any supervisory role in the police department and she would be a success."
Wright and Clancey both grew up in Duluth. Wright has been a police officer for 22 years and in the Duluth department since 1988. She has a bachelor's degree in organizational management and communications from Concordia University in St. Paul. She started as a Duluth patrol officer, spent five years as a community officer in Lincoln Park/West End, and seven years as a sex crime investigator.
Most recently, she served as East Duluth's community police sergeant where she supervised 10 officers. Her husband, Jim, is a retired Duluth deputy police chief.
"I've always wanted to work in the Violent Crimes Unit," Wright said. "There are outstanding investigators in that unit and I really want to be part of that team. Anything that I can do to impact violent crime in this community is just an awesome responsibility and I really look forward to the challenge."
Wright will supervise three investigators and also serve as the department's public information officer.
Clancey will assist Wright as the department's media liaison. She has a law enforcement degree from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and has been a Duluth police officer since 1997. She spent seven years patrolling the downtown and hillside areas before moving into the Special Investigations Unit, where she worked on drug and gang crimes. She also served in the officer development unit.
Clancey said she welcomes the challenge of her new position because of the "sophistication and complexity of the cases."
"It's a position that takes me out of my comfort zone and offered me a challenge that I have not yet had any experience with in this department," she said. "The vulnerability of the victims is the big thing in that unit and holding accountable the offenders that prey on vulnerable victims."
Clancey will work closely with the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, the First Witness Program that investigates child abuse, and other agencies that provide services to victims. She will supervise five investigators, as well as two civilian employees who deal primarily with victims of domestic violence.
"I'm not going into a unit that is struggling or needs to be repaired; I'm going into a unit that has a strong team of investigators that is already successful and working hard," Clancey said. "I'm excited because it's desirable to be a part of that kind of a team."