CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Chicago has been without a police superintendent since December 1, and with more than 100 shootings in just 2016 alone, the person who is hired will have their work cut out for them.
On Tuesday, the police board held the first of two public hearings to solicit input from the community on what qualifications are most important to them in the selection of the next police superintendent. But an underlying theme emerged throughout the night, and that is a lack of trust in the police board and the selection process.
“It’s really important as part of our process and we said this from the outset that we hear from you,” said Lori Lightfoot.
The Police Board wanted feedback, but much of what the members heard focused on the simmering frustrations with the police, and only seemed to emphasize the challenges of finding a new superintendent.
“We have no faith in you guys leading us anymore, we don't. So you're sitting there meeting with Rahm Emanuel, we have no faith that you're going to do the right thing and give him the right representation,” one Chicagoan said.
The board will be sending the mayor three recommendations for the person who should replace fired superintendent Garry McCarthy, and the goal is to do that by the end of February.
Candidates have until Friday to apply. Some of those speaking on Tuesday felt the city's next top cop has to be black. A connection to the community was also an important consideration, and someone with independence.
“I think that the next superintendent should be most of all honest and not subjugated to the mayor,” another Chicagoan said. “My suggestion is that if this board and y'all can tell the mayor too, if y'all serious about mending some bridges with the community, you make public who those candidates are.”
That is not something the board will do, according to president Lori Lightfoot, who tried to assure a skeptical audience that board members understand the community's concerns and have the city's best interests in mind.
“Our job as a board is to pick the person who is the most qualified to lead this organization, which is large, very complex and obviously has a number of challenges,” Lightfoot said.