CHICAGO (CBS) — Rahm Emanuel said Thursday that he wants to have a full cabinet in place by the time he takes office as mayor of Chicago, including a new superintendent for the Chicago Police Department.
Former Police Supt. Terry Hillard has taken over as the interim superintendent, after Jody Weis stepped down as the city’s top cop earlier this week.
Hillard has said he has no interest in taking the job permanently and is focused on making a smooth transition to a new superintendent under Emanuel.
On Thursday, Emanuel said he wants to “move with due speed” to pick a new police superintendent by May 16, when he is sworn in as mayor.
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“We need to not miss a step when it comes to public safety. We have about a thousand more police that I’ve committed to, to getting on the streets,” Emanuel said. “We have a comprehensive after-school program to get kids off the streets. We gotta make sure we’re prosecuting the gun crimes that are committed. And I think a superintendent, a new superintendent who shares that vision and commitment is essential.”
The mayor-elect also expressed confidence in Hillard’s ability to run the Police Department until a permanent replacement is picked.
Emanuel acknowledged that there is a detailed process the city must follow before he can name a new superintendent, but he still wants to move quickly.
The Police Board must conduct a search for candidates for the job and provide the mayor with a list of three choices for a new superintendent. The mayor could then pick one of those names to submit to the City Council or tell the Police Board to come up with a new list.
Before picking Weis as his choice for superintendent in late 2007, Mayor Richard M. Daley had rejected a list of three other candidates supplied by the Police Board and asked them to submit a new list of names. He also asked the board to check out Weis and his name was later among a new list of three finalists for the job.
Emanuel said he he wants to complete selection process for a new superintendent in time for his inauguration on May 16.
“My goal is to achieve that and to make sure that we have in place the type of people we need to make sure that we don’t miss a beat as it means reforming our city budget, so our economy can grow and we can create jobs … making sure that we have a police superintendent who can address the issue of crime in our streets and making sure we have a CEO of our schools,” Emanuel said.
Terry Mazany is currently serving as interim Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools after former chief Ron Huberman stepped down to pursue a job in the private sector. Mazany has said he is not interested in seeking the schools job full-time.