CPD Commander Joe Gorman moves from gang unit to gang-ridden District 9

December 5, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Chicago Police Commander Joe Gorman has moved from gang investigations into the 9th district as part of a police department shake-up.

Commander Gorman is one of the "best and brightest," according to Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. Now, the pressure is on Gorman to address the rise of violent crime on the city's south and west sides.

"This is an on-going process to get the best people in the right places where we absolutely need them," Supt Garry McCarthy said.

Gorman's new district includes the Back of the Yards and Brighton Park neighborhoods. Homicides are up 52-percent in the 9th district compared to last year. It's an area where gangs have taken over, police say.

"I'm going to make that an emphasis in the ninth district- to go after the gangs. We're going to retool it," Commander Gorman said.

Commander Gorman would not get into specifics on how he plans to retool his strategy, but said his leadership style goes back to the fundamentals of policing.

Gorman is one of seven Chicago police commander changes announced Wednesday after a weekend of violence. Eight people were murdered and 30 shootings were reported on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Since McCarthy became superintendent a year and half ago, he has replaced 19 of 23 commanders.

"As people do their job and do it better, we're going to see improvements on the street. Where they don't do it, we will move aside and put the right people in," McCarthy said.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) says commander changes are nothing new -- and does not think new leadership is the answer to curbing the murder rate. The FOP has long called for more officers.

"Commanders are great but you need the boots on the ground, you need the people there to do it," Pat Camden, FOP spokesperson, said.

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