UPDATED: 5/2/11 2:35 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Newark, N.J., police director Garry McCarthy will be Chicago’s next police superintendent.
Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel made the annoucement at a news conference at the Office Of Emergency Management and Communications on Monday.
“”Garry is eminently qualified to continue the department’s great work,” Emanuel said. The mayor elect touted McCarthy commitment to “innovation that will bring new ideas to the department.”
“The changes that we are going to create are going to come from within and we are going to do it with transparency,” McCarthy said. He said he will work closely with community groups to “find out what it is we need to do and how we are going to accomplish our mission.”
He acknowledged that the murder rate is too high, but empahsized that the department will focus on all violent crime to “reduce the fear of crime” in Chicago.
The head of Chicago’s police union says he looks forward to working McCarthy.
Fraternal Order of Police president Michael Shields McCarthy needs to quickly address manpower issues within the department.
Shields also said it was “very noble” for McCarthy to say he plans to get police certification in Illinois so he can wear the department’s uniform.
McCarthy, 51, joined the New York Police Department in 1981, and rose through the ranks to sergeant in 1985, lieutenant in 1989, captain in 1992, deputy inspector in 1997, inspector in 1999, and finally, deputy commissioner of operations in 2000.
He was sent to the 70th New York Police Precinct just after two officers from the precinct were accused and later convicted of torturing and sodomizing Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. Under McCarthy’s leadership, crime dropped by double digits in the precinct, and citizen complaints dropped precipitously as well, McCarthy’s Newark police bio says.
McCarthy has headed up the Newark Police Department since 2006, and is credited with reducing crime in the city when other municipalities were seeing increases. At the news conference, Emanuel praised a 22 percent reduction in Newark’s murder rate under McCarthy’s command.
The City Council must approve McCarthy. Reaction to his nomination was mixed at City Hall.
“My preference would have been somebody who lived in Chicago,” Ald. Ray Suarez said.
On the other hand, Ald. Walter Burnett said, McCarthy comes with some anti-terrorism experience. That’s important in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing by U.S. forces.
Police Board President Demetrius Carney went out of his way to praise McCarthy as a “cop’s cop.”
“My gut tells me that he understands best practices across the country. He takes those best practices, brings them back and comes up with the best strategy for the city that he’s in. That’s what impressed us,” Carney said.
McCarthy 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.
Police Supt. Jody Weis left his post in March when his contract expired. Former Supt. Terry Hillard has been back on an interim basis since.
Emanuel also announced that Robert Hoff with remain in the top job at the Chicago Fire Department. Also, Gary Schenkel, a Chicagoan who recently was working for the Department Of Homeland Security in Washington, was named as head of OEMC. Schenkel called the OEMC the premier operations center in the county.
The Sun-Times Media Wire and Associated Press contributed to this report.