CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A police officer who made some waves by exposing alleged abuses in his own department might be an unlikely choice for the next Chicago police superintendent. However, Michael Wood Junior says he's just what Chicago needs.
FOX 32’s Larry Yellen talked with Wood Wednesday about why he thinks he's up to the job.
The death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore led to widespread protests and rioting. It also prompted a former Baltimore Cop, Michael Wood Junior, to speak out about abuses that he’d witnessed on the force. Now, Wood wants to run the Chicago Police Department.
“The fundamental issue that I’m about is that this department must go back into the arms of the people,” Wood said.
The 36-year-old Wood left the Baltimore police in 2014 due to a shoulder injury. The former marine is now working on a PHD in management, but says he's more than ready to tackle the issues surrounding policing in Chicago.
He would start, he says, by listening.
“I’m not coming in there to tell you how policing should be, I'm coming there to ask you what you want policing to be,” Wood said.
Wood admits he's got no overnight solution to the shootings and homicides in the city.
“Everyone is looking for that bam, right now, what can you instantly do to solve this problem. And there's nothing you can do to instantly solve this problem. But we have to start fighting the causations of crime and not the symptoms of crime, which is what we're fighting,” Wood said.
Those causations, he said, include everything from lead poisoning to segregation. He also says flooding the streets with more police would lead to even more controversial shootings.
“I don’t' think there is a need for more police. We already have too many police. We bring guns into situations that don’t necessarily require guns,” Wood said.
Wood is one of 39 candidates who have applied for police superintendent. The police board says that by next Monday, it will submit three names to the mayor for his consideration.
Wood also says he does not expect he'd have problems working with the mayor, but he does think it would be a good idea for politicians to stay away from trying to help run the department.