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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that he is appointing Eddie Johnson, the current Chief of Patrol, to serve as the Interim Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, and is asking the Chicago Police Board to conduct a new search process later this year for the Police Superintendent position.
“I am deeply appreciative of the time and hard work the Police Board put into this search. The three candidates I interviewed have distinguished careers in law enforcement and they all impressed me with their commitment to public safety,” said Mayor Emanuel. “However, as our city works through the challenges ahead, it is more important than ever that we find the right person who knows our city and can provide the level of safety every resident deserves, lift the morale of Chicago’s police officers, and build on the work that’s been done to restore trust and accountability in the police department.”
Eddie Johnson is a Chicago native who grew up in Cabrini-Green until he was 9-years-old before moving to Washington Heights where he remains today. He joined CPD as a patrolman in May 1988, and has held a number of leadership positions in the Department’s Bureau of Patrol -- ranging from patrolman to sergeant, lieutenant in the 15th District, Commander in the 6th District, Deputy Chief for Area Central, Executive Officer, and Chief of Patrol. Johnson is a member of the Executive Board of NOBLE’s Chicago Chapter, and has received a number of awards -- including department commendations, Chicago Defender Men of Excellence Award, and others.
Interim Superintendent Johnson had a strong track record in fighting crime, notably as the deputy chief of patrol for Area Central. Under his leadership, Area Central led the city in 2013 with a 32% reduction in firearm related violence, lowering the number of murders, shootings and shooting victims in Area Central. And during his tenure as the Deputy Chief of Area Central in 2014, his team continued to drive down firearm related violence. Under his watch, Area Central patrol drove down shootings by an additional 27% -- double the shooting reduction of other Areas in the city at the time.
The Mayor has worked with Interim Superintendent Johnson over the past five years and following months of conversations with a wide range of individuals, including police officers, community leaders, clergy, aldermen, law enforcement experts and others from which he gathered input on what they believe are the key attributes needed for someone to lead the Chicago Police Department, he believes that Johnson is the right person for the job at this time.
“Appointing the next Police Superintendent is one of the most important responsibilities I have as mayor, and that’s why I’ve approached it deliberately and carefully. Throughout his career at the police department, Eddie has proven to be a terrific leader and fair boss who puts his officers first and has their backs. He has also been willing to hold officers accountable when necessary. I have full confidence that in the coming months he will run this department just like he has approached his other command positions - with independence, hard work, and a love for this police department,” Mayor Emanuel said. “On behalf of the entire city of Chicago I want to express my gratitude to John Escalante for stepping in and stepping up to lead the police department at an incredibly challenging time and an incredibly challenging juncture. I look forward to continuing to work with him in the years ahead.”
The Mayor is asking the Police Board to conduct another search and make its recommendations at a later date.