As reported by nj.com, Garry McCarthy was named Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department today, ending his four-year tenure at the helm of New Jersey’s largest police department, according to law enforcement officials.
Chicago mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel stood side by side with McCarthy during a press conference, officially putting Newark’s top cop in charge of the 13,000 member police department after weeks of speculation that he was the favorite to claim the job.
McCarthy was named one of three finalists by Chicago’s civilian police review board last week, alongside two high-ranking Chicago Police officials. Several media outlets branded him the favorite for the job because of his track record of success in large urban police departments. McCarthy, who also had a storied career with the New York Police Department, was a finalist for the Chicago Superintendent’s position once before, in 2003. It was not immediately clear who will replace him in Newark.
McCarhty’s four years as the director in Newark were marked by strategic successes and public image headaches. Hired by Mayor Cory Booker in 2006, McCarthy has been credited with driving down the city’s violent crime rate over the past four years. He recently pushed for the wildly effective “Ceasefire” model, an anti-gang community outreach strategy, to be used in the state’s largest city. The city’s homicide total, which routinely hit triple digits before McCarthy’s arrival, dropped steadily from 2006 to 2009.
In those same four years, McCarthy became engaged in hostile and public battles with the city’s Superior Officer’s Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, who last year filed a petition alleging rampant misconduct throughout the department, calling for a federal monitor to oversee the agency.
Deborah Jacobs, the executive director of the ACLU, said McCarthy’s departure is “great with respect to our petition,” claiming the 51-year-old director was resistant to changes called for in the ACLU’s petition for federal oversight of the department last year.
“Director McCarthy came to Newark promising to reform Internal Affairs, and it simply hasn’t happened. The Newark Police Department remains in need to fundamental changes to ensure accountability,” Jacobs said. “Now, our primary concern is that Mayor Booker conducts an open and transparent process for his next appointment so that the public knows what it’s getting.”
The scramble for a new Director will begin during a critical time for the Department. In addition to the ACLU’s petition, the state’s largest city is battling a surge in violent crime, which followed the layoff of 162 police officers last year.