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Interim CPD Superintendent Rolling Back Some Weis Changes

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 24, 2011 2:00PM

Interim Police Superintendent Terry HIllard. (Photo via Hillard Heintze Strategic Security Advisors)
Like Terry Mazany at the Chicago Public Schools, Interim Police Superintendent Terry Hillard appears to be busting some rump to leave the Police Department in a good condition for when Mayor-elect Emanuel takes office in May. Hillard is reported to be chipping away at some of the changes implemented by his predecessor, Jody Weis. Among Hillard's reversals are changes to the central command structure within the police department and moving police officers from specialized units and putting them on the street.

One of the units on Hillard's radar is the Department's Mobile Strike Force. Hillard is considering moving 100 officers from the Mobile Strike Force back to patrol. If Hillard moves through with this and moving officers from other specialized beats and task forces back to patrol, it will go a long way toward helping Emanuel fulfill his campaign promise to add 1,000 more beat officers to the streets. Outgoing Fraternal Order of Police president Mark Donohue also expressed support for the moves, noting that the Police Department was operating 2,300 officers per day short of authorized strength as a result of Weis's changes and a hiring slowdown.

IN what has all the earmarks of a purge, Hillard is also moving towards re-establishing the pre-Weis chain of command where Central Command brass reports to assistant superintendents James Jackson and Beatrice Cuello. Jackson and Cuello were marginalized under Weis, who brought in Michael Masters — a civilian with a Harvard Law degree — as his chief of staff. Masters left the Department last week and the Sun-Times reports Robert Roman, who was assigned to Weis's office, was forced to resign. Other commanders loyal to Weis have been moved to districts.

Hillard has also ordered the return of take-home cars provided to the Department's SWAT team under Weis's tenure. Weis believed that the cars would allow SWAT team members to be able to respond faster to developing situations.