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The Shortlist For Chicago's Police Chief Has 1 CPD Employee And 2 Outsiders

By Mae Rice in News on Mar 17, 2016 3:31PM

From left to right: Anne Kirkpatrick, Cedric Alexander and Eugene Williams (photos via LinkedIn, LinkedIn and Chicago Police Department)

The Police Board has a final, three-candidate shortlist for Police Superintendent: two candidates from outside Chicago Police Department, and one department veteran who’s been a runner-up for the superintendent position before.

The department's interim superintendent, John Escalante, didn’t make the list.

After winnowing down a pool of 39 candidates, most of whom were black men according to the Sun-Times, the Board's shortlist consists of:

* Cedric Alexander, who is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Public Safety in DeKalb County, Georgia. Previously, he was the county's Chief of Police, and the President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

* Anne Kirkpatrick, the one-time police chief of Spokane, Washington who retired from that role in 2014. The Memphis native ran her Spokane department by the metaphorical rule “you lie, you die.” All told, she was Chief of Police in three cities over 16 years.

* Eugene Williams, CPD’s Deputy Police Superintendent, who is chief of the Bureau of Support Services and does key administrative work. As described here, his current job covers everything from HR duties to managing CPD's $1.4 billion budget. He previously spent 20 years of his 36-year-career in patrol roles.

Police board president Lori Lightfoot said in a statement that the finalists are the "most qualified" candidates, and that this decision comes during "one of the most important moments in Chicago's history."

"The three finalists each demonstrated a realistic and thoughtful understanding of the challenges ahead, while exhibiting energy and optimism about the potential for meaningful reform," she said, "We look forward to one of these candidates becoming the next Police Superintendent and starting a new and better chapter for Chicago."

For further detail, here are the handouts on each candidate that were circulated at today's Police Board press conference, as tweeted by Aldertrack:

Now, the trio are all up for the same superintendent role—a $260,044-a-year position, according to the Sun-Times—which was left open when Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired CPD’s previous superintendent, Garry McCarthy, days after the city released dashcam footage of Laquan McDonald’s death at the hands of officer Jason Van Dyke. Van Dyke shot McDonald sixteen times, and has since been indicted on six counts of murder for the shooting.

“Someone had to take the fall,” McCarthy recently said of his firing on a panel at Harvard University's Institute of Politics.

Now, someone has to take the superintendent job. Legally, it falls to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to appoint one of the three candidates to the superintendent position, or reject them all and ask the Police Board to conduct a new search.