CHICAGO (CBS) — With Johnson out, his interim replacement, Charlie Beck, will have to assume the superintendent’s duties earlier than expected.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey has the story from Chicago Police Headquarters on that transition and the man who’s going to be filling Johnson’s’ shoes.
Charlie Beck arrived in Chicago Monday afternoon and sources tell CBS 2 he met with the CPD command staff. He also sent an email to all police officers saying:
“I know that the events of this morning likely caused a great deal of unease. But rest assured this department is stable, strong, and headed in the right direction. ”
“I am confident that interim Superintendent Beck is such a leader and that both he and the eventual permanent superintendent will serve with honor,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said 66-year-old retired leader of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Back on November 9 when he was tapped to serve as Chicago’s interim superintendent, he said there would be no gap between himself and Johnson.
“The transition will be seamless. There will never be a time where we don’t have a superintendent in the chair. We’re going to overlap. Superintendent Johnson is retiring. He’ll still be available. He has promised me that (his) cellphone will never be shut off. Believe me, I will use it.”
But with Johnson now fired instead of retired, it’s unclear how much Beck will rely on him for guidance. Beck has also made it clear that he’s an outsider coming in on an temporary basis, to help move things forward in selecting a permanent leader of Chicago’s approximately 13,500 police officers.
“The whole reason Mayor (Lightfoot) selected me as an interim was to ensure continuity of operations in Chicago, to help move the needle forward on a coupe of things that I have a lot of experience with,” he said.
Some of those experiences include clashes with Black Lives Matter activists over his handling of L.A.’s police-involved shootings.
Beck, who spent more than 40 years with LAPD, also has a background with community policing and deescalation policies.
The Chicago Police Board will recommend three finalists for superintendent that Mayor Lightfoot will chose from. CBS 2 has been told it will be a national search.