Interim Chicago Police Supt. Eric Carter announced Thursday he will step down on May 15, after just two months as Chicago’s top cop and on the same day that Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson takes office.
Carter replaced Supt. David Brown on March 16. Brown announced his departure the day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost her bid for reelection, finishing behind Johnson and Paul Vallas, both of whom vowed to fire Brown.
Carter offered no reason for his departure after more than 30 years with the Chicago Police Department, saying only that leading the beleaguered department was his “greatest honor.”
A spokesperson for the mayor-elect declined to comment on Carter’s announcement.
Having three leaders in less than six months will add to the turmoil facing the department as the weather warms, which typically spurs an increase in crime and violence.
Lightfoot acknowledged Carter’s decision to leave the department in a brief statement that wished him well in his “next chapter” and praised him for giving “the full measure of himself in service to the residents of this city and the officers under his command.”
Carter’s announcement came four days after unrest swept downtown on the first summer-like weekend of the year. The department’s response to the mayhem was widely criticized as insufficient and ineffective.
Under Brown, Carter served as the police department’s second-in-command, overseeing deployment operations.
The city’s Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability is conducting a search for the next leader of the Chicago Police Department. The panel is charged with recommending three candidates to the mayor by July 14.
The mayor will then have 30 days to choose one or ask for another slate of options before asking the Chicago City Council to confirm his choice.