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Interviews begin for police superintendent applicants

by Alexandra M. Schwappach
April 12, 2011

In terms of sheer numbers, the Chicago Police Board should have little problem finding the city’s next police superintendent. The board received more than 40 applications for the position, which some consider to be second only to the mayor’s in terms of its challenges. 

“The board is very pleased with the response we received from such a talented and diverse group of candidates,” Demetrius Carney, president of the Chicago Police Board, said in a press release.

The position came open when Jody Weis’ contract expired last month. Terry Hilliard is serving as interim superintendent.

Carney said the board—a nine-member group appointed by Mayor Daley—received applications both from within the city limits and throughout the country. 

A question recently added to the application focuses on morale in the police department and how it affects residents’ attitude toward police, according to a source from the Chicago Police Board.  The question was added in light of recent scandals within the CPD and criticism of Jody Weis’ performance over his three-year term. 

After the applications are reviewed, the board will conduct in-depth interviews with a selected group whom the board believes are best qualified. It will then nominate three candidates to be reviewed by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.

During the city’s most recent search for police superintendent, in 2007, the board received 35 applications, said Max Caproni, executive director of the Chicago Police Board.  But Mayor Daley rejected the board’s first three candidates and asked them to present three others. 

Emanuel is expected to play a substantial role in this year’s superintendent appointment.  He said he would conduct his own individual interviews with the most-qualified applicants.  The board said a decision most likely would be reached by Emanuel’s inauguration as mayor on May 16.