The Chicago Police Board next week will begin taking public comment as its search for a new top cop continues amid the rapidly spiraling scandal surrounding former police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
The board will hold a trio of listening sessions across the city, giving people a chance to share their “views on the qualifications and experience” they want to see in Johnson’s permanent replacement.
“The members of the Board and I are committed to undertaking a search that will lead to our presenting to the Mayor the best possible candidates,” board President Ghian Foreman said in a statement last month.
“We will be reaching out to all stakeholders – community members and organizations, CPD officers, elected officials, and others – and listening to their views on the professional experience and personal qualities one needs to meet the challenges of leading the nation’s second largest police department.”
The listening sessions will be held on:
- Monday, Dec. 9 at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St.
- Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Muslim Community Center, 4380 N. Elston Ave.
- Thursday, Dec. 12 at JLM Community Center, 2622 W. Jackson Boulevard
Each listening session will be held from 6-8 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.
The board kicked off its search last month when Johnson, 59, announced he’d be retiring at the end of the year. But instead of stepping down quietly, Johnson instead was fired this week by Mayor Lori Lightfoot after allegedly lying to her about an October incident in which he was found asleep in his car after having multiple drinks.
Johnson was reportedly seen at Ceres Café downtown for hours drinking with a female officer who was a member of his security team. When officers found him in his car later that night, Johnson flashed his superintendent’s badge and drove off, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported multiple CPD employees are now under investigation for allegedly attempting to cover up that incident. And on Thursday, WBEZ reported that weeks after the incident, Johnson reassigned the female officer he was seen drinking with into a new role – a possible violation of city policy.
In a statement Wednesday, Johnson said he didn’t “intentionally mislead” Lightfoot or the public.
The Police Board wants public input on who the next Police Superintendent should be. Please join these conversations bc we want Chicagoans to help select the very best candidate to build upon the work being done by residents & officers to make Chicago safer & stronger. pic.twitter.com/57AWVZ6B8S
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) December 5, 2019
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who was already tabbed to replace Johnson on an interim basis, has taken the reigns until the police board can find a permanent replacement.
The board has already begun taking applications for the role, and will continue doing so until Jan. 13, 2020. They will then interview the best-qualified candidates before submitting the names of three finalists to Lightfoot, who will appoint the new superintendent.