Eddie Johnson outlines crime plan at CPD graduation

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Interim Police Supt. Eddie Johnson discussed his plans for reducing crime in Chicago at a CPD graduation ceremony. (WLS)

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson talked about his plans to fight crime at Friday's police graduation ceremony at Navy Pier.

Seventy-four police recruits graduated on Friday.

Johnson, a 27-year CPD veteran who took the helm of the embattled department last week, said his first priority is restoring public trust.

"I never thought that the mistakes or poor judgement of a few can do so much to undermine the reputation and the integrity of so many good officers who put their lives on the line each and every day and do their jobs as professionals," Johnson told the new recruits.

He encouraged recruits to do a lot of listening and treat people with respect, adding that community policing will be key.

"It's hard to earn trust, but easy to lose it," he said. "It's even harder to get it back."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also attended the event, praising Johnson for his efforts.

"It is not an accident that the superintendent comes from patrol," Emanuel said. "They are the backbone."

More 1,300 people are responsible for a majority of the violent crime in many of Chicago's neighborhoods, and part of his plan is to identify those people and hold them accountable.

"We know who you are, we know where you live, consider yourselves put on notice," Johnson said.

Johnson also highlighted the role community policing in his vision for leading the department that is still reeling from some high-profile police shootings.

The ceremony comes as several new policies and procedures are being put into place at CPD, including regarding the use of Tasers.

Johnson did not address crime-fighting strategies that are already in place, but he has said that he will conduct a review to see if anything needs to be adjusted.
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