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The Chicago chief of police has announced his resignation following Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s failed bid for reelection.
“Today, Superintendent David O. Brown informed me that he would be resigning as Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department effective March 16. I accepted his resignation,” Lightfoot said in a March 1 statement.
“I personally want to thank him for his service to our city. First Deputy Eric Carter will be appointed as interim superintendent until the new Mayor is sworn into office,” she added.
“We ask the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability to immediately begin the search for a new Superintendent so that the new Mayor will be able to make a selection as soon as possible.”
Lightfoot recently lost her reelection bid to Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, both Democrats.
Brown’s leadership at the Chicago Police Department during a time of rising violent crime was a major issue in the mayoral race. All eight Chicago mayoral challengers had said that they would fire Brown if they came to power.
Brown turns 63 in September, which is the mandatory age of retirement at the Chicago Police Department. He began serving as superintendent in April 2020. Brown has accepted a job as chief operating officer of Texas personal injury law firm Loncar Lyon Jenkins.
According to data from the Chicago Police Department, the total number of crimes in the region jumped from 46,183 in 2020 to 66,855 in 2022, an increase of 45 percent, during Brown’s tenure.
While murder, aggravated battery, and burglary dropped during this period, criminal sexual assault jumped 25 percent, robbery by 14 percent, theft by 89 percent, and motor vehicle theft by 116 percent.
Both Vallas and Johnson have indicated that they plan on appointing the next superintendent of the Chicago Police from within the department.
“The next superintendent of the Chicago Police Department must be as fully committed to the health and safety of all Chicagoans as I am, and to immediately meeting all requirements of the federal consent decree while addressing the root causes of crime,” Johnson said in a statement, according to Fox.
“As mayor, my preference will be to appoint someone from within the current ranks of the Department, but most important is appointing the right person for the job—someone who is collaborative, competent, and compassionate, and who truly cares about protecting and serving the people of our city.”
However, some of the top officers resigned during Brown’s tenure, which might make it difficult to find a qualified person from within the department.
Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan, Chief of Counterterrorism Ernest Cato, First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio, Deputy Chief of Special Functions Steve Georgas, and Area 5 Deputy Chief Eric Winstrom have all resigned.
Brown was appointed to the post just a month before the murder of George Floyd that rocked the nation, an incident that triggered civil unrest in Chicago. A report by the Chicago Office of Inspector General said that the department was disorganized, unprepared, and without a plan to tackle this unrest.
Brown’s two-year tenure was marked by stagnancy in terms of police reforms.
Under Brown, hundreds of cops and detectives from the department’s drug and gang units were shifted to the patrol division. Many officers were also transferred from neighborhoods they were accustomed to—a move which attracted criticism.
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