Chicago's next top cop could be named very soon

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Plans are nearly complete to name the top three finalists for the job of Chicago police superintendent.

The police review board will turn over the three finalists to the mayor, and he will then select the next person to lead the 13,000 member department.

There is no hard deadline, but the police board was expected to give the names of three finalists to the mayor by Monday.

The board and the mayor's office would not reveal any details, but an announcement could be coming soon.

Chicago has already surpassed 100 murders for the year and 400 shootings, and with the nickname Chiraq, whoever the finalists are, they are well aware of the crime problem they will face if they are offered the job.

And then there is the community relations crisis spawned by the Laquan McDonald shooting, which got former superintendent Garry McCarthy fired. Lori Lightfoot, the head of the Police Board, told FOX 32 shortly after the search began that the search would be exhaustive.

“I think we owe it to the citizens of Chicago to get the best possible people, whoever they are and where ever they come from,” Lightfoot said.

Thirty-nine candidates applied by the January 15th deadline, including a former Baltimore police officer who wants the job.

“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,” said applicant Michael Wood Jr.

Former Rochester New York Chief and current DeKalb Co. Georgia Chief Cedric Alexander's name has been bounced around in media reports, but now it's unclear whether he is one of the finalists.

The mayor has suggested he would prefer an African American lead for the department.

FOX 32: In order to restore trust, does the next superintendent have to be African American?

“I'm not going to prejudge what the race of the person is, I think this is, as I said, a big and complicated job, we have the second largest police force in the country, we need someone who is a proven leader,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot has also been the subject of rumors, but she told FOX 32 she has absolutely no intention of becoming superintendent. She’s not an applicant, she said, nor will she ever be.