The Chicago Police Board held the second of three public hearings Wednesday evening as it searches for the city’s next top cop.
At the Muslim Community Center on the Northwest Side’s 39th Ward, roughly four dozen residents weighed in on the qualities they’d like to see in the next police superintendent.
Applications for the position are due on Jan. 13, 2020. Police board officials said they hope to have three finalists for the mayor to choose from by March.
Police Board President Ghian Foreman says public input will be factored heavily into the search.
“Some people want an insider, some people want an outsider, but there are some things that hold true across the board,” said Foreman, who is leading the search. “Transparency, honesty, someone willing to really dialogue with communities and build relationships with communities, someone who’s going to do their best effort to solve the crime that the city faces.”
Residents were not shy about using their allotted 90 seconds each to tell the board Wednesday how it should focus the search.
“I would like the next superintendent to admit to the fact that the code of silence exists in the Chicago Police Department,” said Chicago resident Carol Maher. “Everyone in this room who doesn’t work for CPD knows of bad coworkers. … Eventually, they get disciplined and fired, right? Or ‘managed out’ as we say in corporate America. Not in the CPD.”
”I think it would be interesting to see a superintendent who maybe had a social work or a restorative justice background, because I think that the police in our communities aren’t just there as law enforcement,” said North Side resident Hawa Foster.
There are a few attributes that are a must; the board is asking applicants to submit video essays describing their experience and plans for:
a. Developing and implementing a mission-oriented and proactive crime-reduction strategy;
b. Leading major organizational reforms in a wide variety of areas, including training, accountability, officer wellness and support, and other areas addressed by the Consent Decree entered in Illinois v. Chicago; and
c. Creating and carrying out a vision of community relations that builds trust between police officers and the communities they serve.
Board members say they aren’t waiting for applicants to come to them, that they’ve already started the search by interviewing other mayors and some trade associations to be proactive in finding the right candidates.
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