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Source: Chicago Police Board  Graphic: Alexandra Schwappach/MEDILL

Clock ticking to submit top cop applications

by Alexandra M. Schwappach
April 07, 2011

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Want to be Chicago's next police superintendent? Here's the application

Superintendent attributes:

·      An exemplary record of working with the diverse population and interest groups 

·      The highest standards of integrity 

·      The ability to motivate police officers to aggressively confront criminal conduct 

·      Experience in dealing with labor-management issues 

Last time Chicago looked for someone to lead its police force, the mayor didn’t like any of the choices and directed the search committee to try again.

This time, the new mayor is expected to have the same sort of input in the process.

Applications are due Monday, and applicants need to have skills in communicating and interacting with the media and experience in dealing with labor-management issues.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) said Weis was criticized for the department’s low morale during his term, but that may have not been a bad thing.

“Morale was down because supervisors were breathing down the officer’s necks, trying to get them to take their work to the next level,” Beale said. “But because of that pressure, the police were doing their jobs; crime was down.”

Beale said the next superintendent should make resource allocation a main commitment.

Once the applications are in, the nine-member group vetting the applicants will narrow the choices to three finalists and forward them to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who will have the final word.

Emanuel said earlier this month that he would conduct his own independent interviews with various applicants.

During the last superintendent selection in 2007, Mayor Daley denied the three names chosen by the the group and had them select three new candidates. He ultimatelychose Jody Weis. Weis -- a former FBI agent -- was disparaged throughout his term both because he had never been a police officer and because he was not a Chicago native.

“We don’t have expected numbers as to how many applications will be turned in,” said Max Caproni, executive director from the Chicago Police Board, which is conducting the search. “But can expect applicants from all over the nation.”

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey was initially a forerunner in the applicant pool, but withdrew his application after his compensation proposal of more than $400,000 was denied, according to an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.

Terry Hillard, who has served as the interim superintendant since Weis’ contract expired on March 1, said he would not pursue the role as a permanent position.

The board will release news announcements with information on the various stages of the selection process after applications are collected on Monday.