Chicago's top cop talks about his future

May 23, 2012 5:56:34 AM PDT
ABC7 went back to police headquarters Tuesday armed with questions for Superintendent Garry McCarthy about the NATO protests, crime in the rest of the city during the summit and his own future.

The attention of thousands of officers was focused on a week's worth of protests. While demonstrations drew an unprecedented police response downtown, out in the neighborhoods crime declined.

Police stats show the number of shootings in the city dropped 26 percent during the summit and the days leading up to it. Murders were down 20 percent.

"I said from the beginning that we can walk and chew gum," said McCarthy.

Superintendent McCarthy says he thinks his anti-gang and gun strategies are finally taking hold.

"That's about six out of the last seven weeks that we've won both murders and shootings, which is a big turnaround," said McCarthy.

As for criminal conduct by protesters:

  • More than half of the 91 people arrested were from out of state
  • Most were charged with misdemeanors: They paid a fine and went on their way
  • Prosecutors filed felony charges against eight protesters, mostly for aggravated battery to a police officer.

Since then, the families of several high ranking members of the department have received threatening phone calls at home.

"In one case, we had a captain's wife called and told her husband was shot and killed, they were going to kill her next," he said.

Meanwhile, police across this city take pride in how they handled themselves.

"This is a great feeling, to have the community come up and thank you," one officer said.

The security success surrounding the summit is leading some to speculate Superintendent McCarthy may eventually be recruited to run the department in his native New York. His response?

"I want this to be my last job," McCarthy.

McCarthy's message to those bike cops he had down to his office Tuesday: don't lose this moment. Enjoy the pride and respect of the citizens you serve because as any Chicago police officer will tell you, it's often a thankless job.


Load Comments