CPD supt. Eddie Johnson on waiting list for kidney transplant

ByLaura Podesta WLS logo
Saturday, January 28, 2017
CPD supt. on waiting list for kidney transplant
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson revealed he is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant after 32 years of treating a kidney condition, he said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson revealed he is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant after 32 years of treating a kidney condition, he said at a press conference Friday.

WATCH: Eddie Johnson talks about kidney disease at press conference

Supt. Eddie Johnson talks about his kidney condition after a Friday mornnig health scare at a perss conference.

Johnson became faint Friday morning at a press conference for new tactics the CPD will use to help prevent violence.

Johnson said he became lightheaded after taking blood pressure medication on an empty stomach and was entirely unrelated to his kidney disease. He was taken to Christ Hospital for evaluation and thanked the doctors there for their treatment.

"As a result I got lightheaded and was taken to Christ Hospital for evaluation, and I want to take a moment to thank them," Johnson said.

Johnson said his kidney condition, "hasn't affected my ability to lead a normal life or to be your police superintendent." He also clarified that he does not have diabetes and is not on dialysis.

"I do not require dialysis, and nor do I have diabetes. Those were things that were put out that I just... that are just not factual. I am, however, currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, which has not yet been scheduled. Once a donor is found and the operation takes place, I should be back to work in three to five weeks. Until then, with the blessing of my doctors, I will return to work as your police superintendent," Johnson said.

Johnson was joined at the press conference by his nephrologist, Dr. Paul Crawford, as well as Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"From day one he has been up front with me about his health conditions and has been straightforward about it. I have always been confident in his ability to do the job and I have seen it up close, as all of us have," the mayor said.

Johnson said he discovered his kidney condition at 25 when he took the test to become a police officer.

Johnson's nephrologist, Dr. Paul Crawford, said the superintendent's lab work and test results from today's hospital tests did not contain anything that would require admission. He also stressed that one of every nine people in the U.S. has high blood pressure and that African Americans are three to four times more likely to develop kidney disease, mostly due to uncontrolled high blood pressure and/or diabetes.

"The message is there to all of us to take better care of ourselves. Continue to exercise and taken your medicine, as the superintendent does, to follow the diet and live a healthy lifestyle," Crawford said.

RAW VIDEO: CPD Supt. falls ill during press conference

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson suffers medical episode at press conference for new CPD technology.

Johnson stood behind Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he spoke at the Friday morning news conference about new technology for the police department. The mayor stopped in the middle of his speech to ask if the superintendent was OK.

"He had a look in his face where he looked a little concerned. Everyone rushed to his aid, sat him down. He never lost consciousness, he was fine. Just a little overheated, he appeared to be," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward).

The mayor and other CPD leaders led Johnson to a chair and helped him sit down. The media was asked to turn off their cameras and clear the room.

An ambulance was called to the 7th District police station. The Chicago Fire Department said Johnson was examined and his vitals were found to be good.

Inside the room some asked for candy and to give Johnson some space. His overall mood, Ald. Sawyer said, didn't falter.

"He was pretty jovial along the way, he was talking. He wanted something to drink. He was parched. He drank, I think, two bottles - one water, one juice," he said.

Guglielmi tweeted that the superintendent felt light-headed, but did not lose consciousness. He was talking and alert as he walked with Emanuel to his own vehicle.

"He said, 'I'm not getting on the stretcher. I'm gonna walk out of here on my own,' which he did," Sawyer said.

Johnson went to Christ Hospital for evaluation, where a steady stream of officer came to visit him.

"We want to make sure he gets back soon, but first get some rest, follow the doctor's orders. Follow what is necessary and get back and continue to do a good job," Sawyer said.


Chicago police who serve the city's most challenged neighborhoods will get new technology to help prevent violence.

The new technology will be made available for two Chicago police districts that account for more than a third of the increase in murders in the city in 2016, the mayor's office said. Many hope the new technology-based deployment strategy will help prevent outbursts of violence.

The mayor's office said two new tools will be made available to officers in the 7th District - Englewood and the 11th District - Harrison, two of the most crime-prone areas of the city.

The first will be ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology. Sensors that can detect gunshots will be placed in neighborhoods. The data gathered will tell police the exact street corner where the shots were fired - and how many. Then officers can go straight to those locations, cutting down on response time.

The second tech initiative is a strategic decision support center, which will use real-time intelligence from cameras, social media, 311 and more, so that police can assess situations more efficiently.

"For officers in the field, they will be able to access real-time intelligence and get instant notifications from ShotSpotter through mobile phones equipped with the software. This technology will allow them to have access to a wide range of information at their fingertips and significantly the cut down response time to shooting incidents, which can make the difference between life and death and can increase our chances of apprehending the offender. I would like to thank the Chicago Police Foundation for their generous financial support in purchasing the mobile phones," Johnson said.

Johnson, Emanuel and the Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief of Operations, who is serving as a consultant for some of the operations, were be present for Friday's announcement.

When compared to major cities like Los Angeles and New York City, Chicago's murder rate is more than double.