CHICAGO (CBS) — He’s the new temporary top cop in Chicago.
Charlie Beck will take over for Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
CBS 2 political investigator Dana Kozlov looks at Beck and what he might bring to Chicago.
Chicago’s new interim police superintendent Charlie Beck said he doesn’t want the permanent job, but does want to work closely with outgoing Superintendent Eddie Johnson and First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio to find the best candidate.
“I think this the right time for an outsider, on an temporary basis, to move things forward,” Beck said.
Beck starts this job 17 months after retiring as Los Angeles’ police chief, rising through the ranks there.
‘L.A. has a lot of similarities to Chicago, both in terms of demographics and challenges, but also what that police department went through during its consent decree process mirrors in many ways what we’re going through now,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Besides consent decree experience, Lightfoot touted Beck’s emphasis on community policing and deescalation policies as reasons to bring him aboard.
That, and his friendship with Johnson.
Beck’s chief of staff came to Chicago to help Johnson when he took over in the wake of the Laquan McDonald fallout.
“A lot of it is getting as sense of his style, his philosophy and also being very specific about what this scope of work is going to be,” Lightfoot said. “So we’ve had multiple conversations.”
Many of them before Johnson officially announced his retirement, meaning Beck’s been in the interim pipeline for weeks.
“He’s a very strict disciplinarian. He doesn’t mess around. He’s a cop’s cop,” according to L.A. CBS reporter Dave Lopez, who covered Beck for much of the decade.
But Beck is not without controversy, especially over his handling of L.A.’s police-involved shootings.
“Yes, there are detractors,” Beck said. “But as the mayor said, this job comes with detractors.”
Those detractors include Black Lives Matter activists.
As for the search for a permanent replacement, it has not yet officially launched.