Emanuel Narrows List Of Candidates For Top Cop

CHICAGO (CBS) — It could be one of the most important decisions of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel: the next police superintendent.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has learned that candidates have been narrowed down from the dozens who applied to less than a handful.

The Mayor-elect has to choose between a group of insiders and outsiders. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

The top insiders include:

–Eugene Williams, the current chief of patrol, a former district commander and a minister with close ties to clergy.

–Al Wysinger, deputy chief of detectives, who also is a former district commander and specialist in gang crimes.

Among the outsiders:

–Gil Kerlikowske, current White House “drug czar,” who headed police departments in Buffalo, N.Y. and Seattle.

–Garry McCarthy, Newark, N.J.’s police chief, a former New York City police commander who was also a candidate for the Chicago job in 2003, when Phil Cline was selected.  At the time, he criticized the process as being rigged by City Hall in favor of insiders.

Roseanna Ander, a University of Chicago criminologist, says experience is the most important quality in a superintendent candidate.

“We need someone who’s actually run a department. This should not be an on-the-job training opportunity,” she said.

Former Police Supt. Richard Brzeczek has his own idea of the most important quality: local ties.

“If they can’t find just one person to come in here and run that department from within, that to me is a serious problem,” he said.

Brzeczek says City Hall interference has been a huge problem for two decades now. From the Cabinet choices Emanuel has made so far seems to indicate he wants strong, independent people who will do the job he’s hired them to do.

Another decision for Mayor Emanuel is how much to pay his new top cop. The last superintendent, outsider Jody Weis, a former FBI agent, got more than $300,000 annually — more than mayor himself.

Contributing: CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall

  • tom sharp

    With a Haitian appointed at CPS, I thought he might try to even things out with a candidate from the Dominican Republic! After all, ethnicity seems to trump ability in this town every time!

  • elginman

    I wonder if any selection made would be “suggested” from the White House.

  • Kathleen

    I think ALL of his choices SUCK at this point! I think he should leave Jodi Weis in place & start his selection all over! The guy from NY isn’t going to get anything done…Look at NY! I’d also like to say…THERE IS NO CZAR IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT! We also don’t need ROSEANNE ANDER, as she sounds like a lot of Hot air, who will probably be bullied by the men. The locals…well, who knows, they may have their corrupt ties in Chicago already, & they’ll just be “one of the boys” AGAIN!

    • Really?

      Jody Weis was an inbicile who got a lot of cops and CPS kids killed not to mention the 2 irish girls who got beat and robbed in bucktown because there was not enough police on the street that night. Good riddence. Your streets are more dangerous now because of his war on working police officers.

    • Native Chicagoan

      Ms. Ander’s is not among the choices. She is a criminologist sharing her professional opinion with the reporter.

  • Native Chicagoan

    Emanuel should put all these guys in a room and start asking questions of them all, at once. Hard, tough questions of them all and outside of their box. The top cop should not get more than $250,000. If you give too much too soon what is the motiviation to do well? Anyway, the top cop gets mega perks along with the salary already paid for by taxpayers.

  • 2 CENTS


  • ChicagoCitizen

    I hope Rahm selects a team player. Weis was horrible for moral. We need someone who is going to work well with the officers, not against them. The priority should be violent crime, plain and simple. Heavily saturate the neighborhoods where the criminals live and frequent. (We all know which neighborhoods they are) I know this sounds like common sense, but still has never been handled that way. CPD needs to stop worrying about being called racist or discriminative and start cleaning up the obvious trash.

    • Brian

      It looks like the best guy to do this is Al Wysinger. A specialist in gangs is a plus. He is presently an officer with CPD, another plus. Hopefully they will crack down on Chicago’s extreme gang problem. And maybe they will start to take care of their dirty laundry in house, rather than in public, something that never helps the situation. There are far too many police haters in this city.

      • Gee-reg

        Thank You very much Al for that review of yourself.

  • Chicago Native

    Emanuel would be well-advised to consider coaxing former Supt. Richard Brzeczek to accept the position. If he’s concerned about getting a professional who’s able to get the job done and not get tangled up in Chicago politics, then there’s no one else better suited.

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