Contender for CPD chief considered for job in 2003

April 26, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The police board could make its selection by the end of the week. In this Intelligence Report: one of the finalists has been there before.

Of the three finalists, one is a current Chicago police official. One has Chicago connections. The third is from out of town. Garry McCarthy is currently the police chief of beleaguered Newark, New Jersey.

ABC7's Chuck Goudie interviewed McCarthy in 2003 when he was also a finalist for the Chicago police superintendent. Then, and throughout his police career, McCarthy said his primary goal was "to lock up bad guys."

"First and foremost, I would concentrate on reducing the homicide numbers," McCarthy told the I-Team.

When the I-Team last heard from McCarthy, he was working for the New York City Police Department, managing the NYPD's day-to-day street operations. He had applied for the vacant Chicago superintendent's job, eventually losing out to insider CPD Phil Cline.

But what McCarthy told the I-Team then, in what some here viewed as an unusual public campaign for the position, would seem to hold true eight years later.

McCarthy's police philosophy: "Working on the nexus of gangs and drugs, gangs, guns, drugs violence, that's what it all comes down to," he said.

And a reflection of how his involvement in the police response to 9/11 drives him: "It kind of solidified what I do...made me get much closer to my children, to my wife. I'm gonna stay in law enforcement. I'm gonna keep doin' what we do. I get a lot out of it," said McCarthy.

Although Mayor-elect Emanuel is not entitled to the list of finalists until he takes office May 16, on Monday he made clear his top police priority.

"What do we have to do to reduce violent crime in the city?" said Emanuel.

Interim Police Supt. Terry Hillard said his advice to whoever is chosen: have patience.

"They make decisions, split-second decisions in a matter of mini-seconds and they're gonna make mistakes out there. But don't always chop their legs out from under them," said Hillard.

In 2003, McCarthy said he already possessed that.

"When I speak to Chicago police officers I hear the same concerns, I hear the same issues. What I would do is I would get out there with them," said McCarthy in 2003.

As with Mayor-elect emanuel's choice for school superintendent, also an out-of-towner, Garry McCarthy is not without baggage. Mr. McCarthy faced a no confidence vote last fall from Newark's police officer's union and a request by the American Civil Liberties Union that the U.S. Justice Department take over the Newark police. The ACLU claimed the department routinely violated citizens rights. McCarthy denied wrongdoing, although justice officials are still investigating.

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