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CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – Former Police Supt. Jody Weis says he is going into the private sector, to a job that will be announced, perhaps as early as this week.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports, Weis says he is “very, very close to going into a new career.”
“Hopefully by the end of the week, we’ll have everything finalized and it’ll be time to get back to work,” Weis said.
Weis resigned March 1 when his contract as police superintendent expired. Former Supt. Terry Hillard took over on an interim basis, before new Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pick, Garry McCarthy, assumed the post.
He says he is now “just going into private industry.”
Speculation has centered on security, but Weis wouldn’t get specific.
“It’s something I’ve always wondered about so it’ll be an opportunity to prove myself in a new area,” he said.
Weis says people tell him he looks much more relaxed now, and younger. But he says he never felt the stress when he was superintendent.
Appearing at a wreath-laying ceremony for Memorial Day in Grant Park Monday, Weis also weighed in on Mayor Emanuel’s plan to reassign 500 police officers from specialized units to beats in heavy-crime neighborhoods.
Weis had favored the specialized units, but he told CBS 2 the new mayor deserves a chance to fight crime his way.
“I was very pleased with the results of the specialized units,” Weis said. “At a time when we were very, very low in man power, we achieved unparalleled results in terms of violent crime and pushing homicides down But you have a new superintendent and you have a new mayor and they have to form strategies that they feel comfortable in.”
Weis took over as police superintendent in 2008. He was appointed after Supt. Phil Cline resigned in the wake of a scandal in sparked by Officer Anthony Abbate, who was caught on surveillance video brutally beating a female bartender half his size at a bar on West Belmont Avenue.
But soon after Weis took over, he drew sharp criticism from rank-and-file officers, who felt he wasn’t on their side and said morale quickly dropped after he took office.
Among Weis’ most unpopular decisions among the rank-and-file was subjecting 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 September of last year, hundreds of rank-and-file officers marched outside of Police Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave., demanding that Weis be let go.
But Weis always maintained that the streets were safer after he took over, and pointed out that homicides were at their lowest level in 45 years last year. He also had his supporters in City Hall.