Weis Stepping Down As Top Cop, Terry Hillard Taking Over

Alderman: Former Supt. Terry Hillard To Be Named Interim Chief

Updated 03/01/11 – 10:03 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Jody Weis will be stepping down as Chicago’s top cop at the end of the day on Tuesday, the last day of his contract as Chicago police superintendent. Former top cop Terry Hillard will take his place.

“Serving as the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department has been an honor and a great privilege,” Weis said in a written statement Tuesday afternoon. “I thank Mayor Daley, and the residents of Chicago, for this opportunity of a lifetime.”

Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office announced Tuesday afternoon former Supt. Terry Hillard is being named interim superintendent for the final two months of Daley’s term in office. Hillard served as superintendent from 1998 until his retirement in 2003.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports on Weis’ departure.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports on Hillard’s appointment.

Mayor Richard M. Daley had indicated on Monday that he wanted to keep Weis on board until Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel takes office in May, but Weis announced that he would step down after his contract expires on Tuesday.

“I firmly believe it would be selfish of me to continue in this position as I actively seek new career opportunities,” Weis stated. “Additionally, it is critical to have someone in place as soon as possible to prepare for the summer, our most challenging time of year.”

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov talked with Terry Hillard about resuming his old job. A job he left in 2003.

“What I really want you to know is this is temporary,” said Terry Hillard. And he made that very clear as he talked about being tapped to once again run Chicago’s Police Department.

Hillard said he was surprised when Daley asked him to do it. But he was honored too.

Hillard spoke outside his south side home just hours after Weis left police headquarters, with a wave, for the last time today. As late as last night, it seemed Mayor Daley expected Weis to stay on the job for the next two months, even without a contract. Instead, Weis stepped down saying, “I firmly believe it would be selfish of me to continue in this position as I actively seek new career opportunities.” That’s when Hillard got the call.

“When the Mayor reaches out to you and is asking for your help, you gotta do this,” Hillard said his daughter told him. Hillard said it all came about today.

Weis’ three years on the job were rocky at times. Much of the rank and file openly fought his leadership. But other city leaders staunchly supported him.

“I think he was one of the best,” said Alderman Anthony Beale, the former head of the council’s police and fire commission. “Regardless of how people felt about him. The bottom line is results. And he produced results.”

Hillard says he plans to talk to the command staff, the rank and file and other officials when he reports to work Wednesday. He called Weis a good guy but wouldn’t rate his performance in the top spot.

Both Mayor Daley and Rahm Emanuel thanks Jody Weis for his time on the job and the reduction of violent crime on Weis’ watch.

“I’d like to thank the outstanding members the Chicago Police Department for their professionalism, and dedication to public service as well as the residents that make up the communities we serve,” he added. “It has given me great pride to have been part of such an outstanding organization and to have had the ability to serve the residents of the City of Chicago.”

Daley thanked Weis for his service in a written statement on Tuesday.

“He has been successful at both implementing new strategies in our fight against crime and assuring that the conduct of our police officers meets the highest standards so that our residents have confidence that the Police Department is protecting and serving them,” Daley said.

The mayor also had high praise for Hillard, who will officially start as interim superintendent on Wednesday.

“Terry’s knowledge and understanding of the police department is outstanding,” Daley said. “He will ensure that the needs of our residents continue to be met and that the transition to the new administration is smooth and seamless.”

Emanuel lauded Daley’s selection of Hillard to take Weis’ place.

“I want to praise Mayor Daley today for moving quickly to fill the vacancy and appointing Terry Hillard as Interim Police Superintendent. This was not a position the city could afford to leave open or a department we could afford to leave adrift without leadership,” Emanuel said in a written statement. “Terry’s previous service to the city made clear his commitment to the job and his effectiveness in fighting crime. We owe him a debt of gratitude for returning when our police department and city need him. Jody Weis also deserves our thanks for his service and for reducing violent crime during his tenure.”

Daley reportedly declined to offer Weis a written contract extension to stay on through the end of Daley’s term, and Weis was unwilling to stay without one.

Weis has been at the helm of the Chicago Police Department since February 2008 and his $310,000-a-year contract with the city expires on Tuesday.

Although the city’s homicide rate and most other crime rates have declined under his watch, Weis has always been unpopular with rank-and-file officers.

Morale dropped significantly under Weis, a problem exacerbated by a police manpower shortage.

As of late last year, a two-year hiring slowdown had left the Chicago Police Department more than 2,300 officers a day short of authorized strength, counting vacancies, medical leave and limited duty.

Daley has taken steps to hire hundreds of new officers before his term ends, but even those plans would still leave the department well short of full strength.

During the race for mayor, Emanuel and the other candidates for mayor had pledged to replace Weis if they were elected.

But recently, Emanuel has been treading more carefully on the issue.

“I’ll have more to say about that later,” Emanuel said when asked about Weis on Tuesday before it was confirmed Weis would be leaving. “I think it’s very important, though, that we focus on what’s very important, and that’s reducing crime. And I have a strategy for that, and the mayor and I had a good discussion on a host of issues today.”

In recent weeks, Weis has touted his accomplishments as the city’s top cop, including the city’s declining homicide rate and a drop in the number of civilian complaints filed against police officers.

But Weis had declined to speculate on his future after his contract runs out.

“My contract runs (out) on March the first, so we probably could just leave it at that,” Weis told reporters at a Sunday news conference on another topic.

“When this positions ends, then I’ll probably look into doing something else,” he continued. “Hopefully I can do something here in Chicago — if not, I’ll go where a career would lead me.”

Weis, a former FBI official, took his post in 2008 under Daley, at a time when the Police Department was plagued by scandals.

Most infamously at the time, Officer Anthony Abbate had been caught on videotape beating a female bartender half his size in a Northwest Side tavern. The surveillance tape was shown around the world, and lent to a perception that Chicago Police officers were out of control.

As an outsider, he has had a rocky relationship with the Police Department’s rank and file, as well as the residents of crime-plagued neighborhoods.

In September, hundreds of rank-and-file officers marched outside of Police Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave., demanding that he be let go.

Rank-and-file officers have said morale dropped after Weis took office, particularly after he subjected Officer Bill Cozzi to a new federal prosecution and prison time after the officer had already been convicted and sentenced to probation for beating a man in a wheelchair.

In a scathing criticism of Weis in a blog posting last year, Lt. John Andrews said officers feared similar reprisals for doing their jobs, and thus “have reduced their proactive performance and now only contribute at minimum levels.”

But Weis told reporters on Sunday that he believes Chicago streets are safer since he took over.

  • Jessie

    A hot mess!

  • t kman

    Happy Days are here again

  • John

    What a piece of work! How many years did the rank and file of the Chicago Police Department work under this moron without a contract?? He has a lot of nerve. Take your close to $1 million you’ve raped from the City and go away!

  • crab outside the barrel

    you did what you could jody. can we keep the helicopters though? i only want one more thing from you. install a camara at 6100 south cottage grove. we have to get to the green line at 63rd. im fearful walking though that stretch even in the daytime. we have seniors living on that corner, u of c students and workers passing through to get to campus. there are school children in that pass through that stretch as well. make good on this one before you go. thanks. god bless you and your family.

  • FletchGuy

    Heres the funny part though …..”Rank-and-file officers have said morale dropped after Weis took office, particularly after he subjected Officer Bill Cozzi to a new federal prosecution and prison time after the officer had already been convicted and sentenced to probation for beating a man in a wheelchair”

    Any cop who supported a cop who beat a wheel chair bound individual can just go ahead and be fired. Thats a huge issue in the Chicago police Department. The gang in Blue who steal ,beat,rob,extort, and then go find a “hole” to sleep the rest of the shift outta site.

  • Mr Voter

    i want that job…i’ll work at half pay….

  • ChicagoCop

    See ya. Gotta run !!!!!!!!

  • Dave Jackson

    The Chicago PD had a taste of being a professional and successful department but they clearly do not want that.

    Glad I moved to the suburbs

    • dovey

      You are also right. Chicago has finally shown how sleazy it really is as a city. They actually seem to want things to remain violent and unpredictable. We are not called a lawless town for nothing…….

  • tom

    letting Jody weiss leave chicago is a huge huge mistake. why? because the fact is crime has gone down ever since he became police supt.
    sure the rank and file dont like him…he has held them accountable.
    god help this city now!

    • dovey

      To this I must agree. What a crock……!

  • Dave Jackson

    Mayor-Elect Emanuel made a dumb mistake in not retaining Weis. There has never been another Police Supt who got so much out of this department as Weis has in his short tenure.

    I would prefer low crime rates from a high salaried Supt. then high and out of control crime from a “market rate” salary Supt.

    You should never step over a quarter to pick up a dime.

  • Kelly

    The boys in blue can now finally end their three year tantrum. So much for trying to change an organization that is probably one of the most corrupt. I hope our new mayor isn’t a total wuss and appoints another outsider to take over. Jody Weis was nothing but a scapegoat for the Department.

  • Banjo Playing Kid Deliverance

    Maybe he can go back to acting, I think he was the banjo playing kid in Deliverance. X Top Banjo Player, X Top Cop.

  • JR

    I believe Chicago needs another Supt. who is not rank and file. Someone who is fair and will not judge based on the fact that he was a police member. Someone who will attack crime in the streets as well as in house. Eliminate corruption from within and put more patrol on the streets. Policeman need to remember they are paid to serve and protect. It is a duty not just a job to get paid. We need serious policeman who don’t care who their boss is. In the end of the day, the job needs to be done.

  • Mary Mitchell

    mr weis did too good of a job
    reducing crime . but now its
    summertime and we need to
    get back to killing and robbing !
    we hope this will be another white
    guy so we can blame all the problems
    we created on him , too !!

  • Larry

    The crybaby cops finally get their way. Now, they are hoping to go back to the days of not being accountable for anything. Cl0wns.

  • Winghunter

    “Proactive performance” is synonymous with tyranny. Every police academy I know of teaches law enforcement can never be allowed to cross the line of reactionary enforcement. (Which is why self defense is an inalienable right)

    However, we are talking about Chicago with a brand new ‘Deadfish’ Emanuel as mayor, aren’t we.



  • Mark P. Donahue

    Dear Jody,

    Thank you for finally leaving on your own. We tried, and Lord knows we tried, to run you off but we failed in our endevour. Now the sun is out and officer Anthony Abbate is going to enjoy the day by pummeling 2 female bartenders. Such a nice day! I may just go for a drink or 8 with officer John Ardelean and hopefully we can kill two more innocent young adults as the 8 shots of Cuervo impair our driving ability. Hopefully its not a person in a wheelchair because that’s Officer Bill Cozzi expertise. God it feels good to once again be corrupted and lazy…But what should we whine about now?! Will figure something.

    With Luv,
    The Pres. of the Corrupted Union

    • Janet

      LMAO! Hilarious but so true!

    • Mary Mitchell

      I’m very disappointed with your
      racism ! that cute young white girl
      deserved to be beat by that
      white cop ! remember rodney king ,
      driving 100 miles an hour with
      total disregard for life ! then ,
      those ignorant cops beat him for
      no reason !


    Terry Hillard? GOD HELP CHICAGO, cause that bum won’t do squat. 1. Hillard gets a pension from the City of Chicago for being a cop. 2. He will continue to pull in his Alermanic salary. 3. He will then be paid an additional 300Thousand to be the INTERIM superintendent. Holy geez, HILLARD is raping the city coffers. 2 salaries, 1 full pension plus I am sure he will get his CONSULTING fees for doing absolutely nothing.


  • sloop

    Our loss. He will go on to bigger and better things. A class act.

  • Gregory O

    Glad to see him go. He was too worried about preventing honest citizens from defending themselves and persecuting his own department, rather than actually trying to clean up the city of real criminals.

    • JoJo

      According to every media, crime was down through out his tenure. I assume you are one of the lazy ass cops that was complaining about him for working you too hard! Pooor meee!!!

  • Gregory O

    JoJo, you obviously haven’t seen the May, 24, 2010 FBI report indicating that Chicago is three times as deadly as NYC and twice as violent as LA, and that among the nation’s 10 largest cities, each with a population of one million or more, only Philadelphia had higher rates of murder and violent crime than Chicago.

    If Jody Weis was so effective, explain THAT trend! Go suck up to Jody some more.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/02/hillard-returns-as-police-superintendent/ Hillard Returns As Police Superintendent « CBS Chicago

    […] Hillard, 67, will step in as an interim replacement, after Weis stepped down at the end of the day Tuesday. […]

  • http://www.tactical-life.com/online/news/chicago-top-cop-weis-stepping-down-terry-hillard-taking-over-video/ Tactical-Life.com » Chicago top cop Weis stepping down. Terry Hillard taking over (video).

    […] Chicago CBS Local   var staf_confirmtext = 'Mail sent' #stafBlock { position:relative; display:none; […]

  • Jody Fan

    Good luck. You will be missed.

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