Our Chicago: The search for the next CPD superintendent

ByKay Cesinger WLS logo
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Our Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For the first time, a community commission is leading the way in the search for a new Chicago police superintendent.

By mid-July, the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability expects to deliver three nominees to Chicago's next mayor, Brandon Johnson.

He has a month to make his pick or to ask for another slate.

Part of the search process includes town hall meetings where Chicagoans can talk about what they want for the city's next top cop. Another meeting is coming up on Thursday. The deadline for candidates to apply is May 7.

Anthony Driver, Jr. is the President of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.

Anthony Driver Jr. is the president of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.

Driver said that he hopes residents feel "empowered, feel like they have a voice and that we see some real change" in the city.

"We've had very good community input," Driver said. "The community has come out en masse and in fact the community has asked us to hold more town halls than we can muster at this point. So we will be adding more town halls across Chicago. But we unfortunately won't be able to meet the demand of coming to every single community, but we'll do our best."

Driver said the average attendance at the community meetings is 155, and at every meeting 40 or 50 people come up to the microphone and speak and make their voice heard.

Driver also talked about what Chicagoans are looking for in the next police superintendent.

"I'm hearing that folks want a dynamic leader," Driver said. "Somebody's who's present. Somebody who puts the community first. Somebody who knows the city of Chicago, who cares about its residents and who can help build the trust that our police department and our community has been so desperately longing for a long time."

Bryan Zarou is the Director of Policy with the Better Government Association.

Bryan Zarou is the director of policy with the Better Government Association.

"The whole purpose of this commission is to have community input," Zarou said. "This is not a new idea; Los Angeles has been doing this for quite some time now, and they've seen some results from it. The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability is meant to get everyday people, the community, involved in public safety."

Zarou sees this as a step in the right direction toward providing public input

"Because you're putting the same people that have interactions with the police, giving recommendations for certain things," Zarou said. "For example, the commission is in charge of recommending police policy, the process of selecting the superintendent, they have the community meetings once a month to get community input. All of that is supposed to be a recipe for better policing in the future."

The commission recently announced it's hired a search firm to assist with the hiring process.

For more information, visit https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/ccpsa.html.