Elizabeth Alaniz has resided in the City of Chicago for 42 years and was raised in the McKinley Park neighborhood. She has been employed with the City of Chicago Police Department for over 23 years and is...
Elizabeth Alaniz has resided in the City of Chicago for 42 years and was raised in the McKinley Park neighborhood. She has been employed with the City of Chicago Police Department for over 23 years and is currently assigned as a Chicago Police Sergeant. Elizabeth has raised four children as a single parent and has a son currently employed with the City of Chicago Police Department as a detective. She has spent several years self-educating in the area of officer well-being and critical incident stress management. Elizabeth is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Critical Incident Stress Foundation. She has a vested interest in law enforcement well-being concerns. Elizabeth has a family history of law enforcement officers that includes her father who is a retired McAllen Police Officer and a Hidalgo County Deputy in the state of Texas, an uncle who is a retired Texas Border Patrol Officer and a nephew who is currently employed with the South Chicago Police Department. Being a police officer is Elizabeth's calling and she is proud to be a Chicago Police Officer.
On August 7th, 2021, Elizabeth's son was involved in an officer related shooting which tragically took the life of his partner Officer Ella French, critically injured Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. and also affected several police officers who responded to the scene. In the wake of that tragic night the undeniable need for a nonprofit organization focusing on officer well-being was envisioned. Today she is proud to be the president and co-founder of Light the Line which fosters hope, support and well-being services for law enforcement officers who have also dedicated their lives to law enforcement. Our non-profit organization initiative is for the police by the police who are the key stakeholders and the focus of our vision.
Founding Vice President
Rhonda Anderson is a lifelong Chicagoan hailing from Gage Park. She currently serves as a Lieutenant on the Chicago Police Department, and resides with her boyfriend who is a CPD Sergeant. Rhonda holds a...
Rhonda Anderson is a lifelong Chicagoan hailing from Gage Park. She currently serves as a Lieutenant on the Chicago Police Department, and resides with her boyfriend who is a CPD Sergeant. Rhonda holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University, as well as MSc degrees from the University of Chicago and Lewis University. She has been a lifelong athlete, advocate of healthy living, and leader. Prior to joining the department nearly 24 years ago, Rhonda worked as a certified Personal Trainer and Clinical Exercise Specialist.
After a sudden health crash resulted in multiple bleak and lifelong diagnoses from conventional doctors, Rhonda began a deep-dive into lesser known modalities outside of the constraints of mainstream medicine. As she discovered vital concepts, tools, and processes, some of which were centuries old, Rhonda rebalanced her body and extinguished her symptoms. Through her healing journey, she became passionate about sharing information to enhance the well-being, health, and resilience of her peers in the first responder community. She is certified as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P) and an Advanced Professional in the Biology of Trauma under Dr. Aimie Apigian. Rhonda currently mentors students, as well as trains newer mentors to lead groups into a greater understanding of their nervous system's profound impact on their daily lives. An avid consumer of knowledge, she has attended thousands of hours of educational workshops, masterminds, and practicums to keep up with current research and emerging technology. Rhonda continues to deepen her understanding of holistic concepts as she works to complete her Somatic Breathwork, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), and Brain-Soul Success Coach certifications. Her vision is to educate and empower officers, guiding them to seek their own healing paths to balance, resilience, and increased vitality.
Founding Executive Director
Elizabeth French is the proud mother of two adopted children, Andrew and Ella. She recently retired from 27 years of teaching Special Education with Berwyn South District 100. Born and raised in the...
Elizabeth French is the proud mother of two adopted children, Andrew and Ella. She recently retired from 27 years of teaching Special Education with Berwyn South District 100. Born and raised in the City of Chicago and a lifelong resident of the Chicago area, Elizabeth is committed to sharing her time, talent, and treasure to assist her native home. She believes in supporting charitable organizations and causes that assist communities and their residents, first responders, children, and animals. Prior to adopting her children, Elizabeth was a foster parent with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. She taught religious education to persons with developmental disabilities through SPRED (Special Religious Development), an Archdiocese religious education program. Working with Small Paws Rescue she has been fostered many pups to their forever homes. Elizabeth's commitment to Light the Line is close to her heart, as her daughter, Chicago Police Officer Ella French, was killed in the line of duty on August 7, 2021. Light the Line was established in honor of Ella.
Executive Board Member
I aspired to be a police officer at a very young age. I started my journey by joining the CPFTA (Chicago Police & Fire Training Academy). I was inspired by my father to join this profession and I always...
I aspired to be a police officer at a very young age. I started my journey by joining the CPFTA (Chicago Police & Fire Training Academy). I was inspired by my father to join this profession and I always wanted to help the community in any way that I could.
The path to the police force took a little longer than anticipated, I focused on construction and property management. When hiring opened up with CPD in 2014 I filed the application and proudly joined in August of 2014. Most of my career I proactively served in the 7th district (Englewood). I joined the Tactical Team, Saturation and most recently the Community Safety Team. Despite all the challenges CPD is facing, being an officer is something I will always be proud of.
Prior to this tragic incident, I was preparing to join the Bomb Unit. Unfortunately that dream was shattered on August 7th, 2021. On that night, no one knew if I would live and my family was preparing for the worst. As the days progressed I fortunately remained stable and we started learning the severity of my injuries. Fractures to the right side of my face, loss of my right eye, and scariest of all, severe traumatic brain injury that caused paralysis. Later I would find I also have damage to my hearing.
The heartache remains over the loss of my career as a Police Officer and my physical and mental impairments, but mostly the loss of a precious life, Ella Grace French.
I remain humbled by the support my family and I have received. The prayers and beautiful messages from family, friends and people all over the country keep me motivated and I will keep fighting every day to get stronger both mentally and physically. I’ve been married to Brenda since 2010 and have a beautiful son (CJ) that inspires me to keep pushing harder and set new goals. I cherish the all the new extended family members I have made, especially Josh and Elizabeth, truly remarkable human beings that I admire so much!