Sneed is told Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, who is in need of a kidney transplant, is pretty darned close to getting one.
• Translation: “When the press found out I needed a kidney transplant about a month or so ago, I was inundated with a lot of enthusiasm from people offering to make donations,” Johnson said.
“I had been on a transplant list for a couple of years after being diagnosed 31 years ago — and was waiting for a conventional transplant donation,” he said.
“But now things have changed and are moving quite rapidly.
“Now people are volunteering to donate a kidney.
“Rush University Medical Center has trimmed it down to the point where they are next to making a match soon.
“Maybe within the next month. I’m hopeful,” he said.
“To be honest, I’m getting to a point that I’ve babied these puppies about as far as I’m getting to go,” Johnson chuckled.
So how does this top cop — this burly, soft-spoken guy in need of a kidney and in charge of the security of a city wracked with gun violence and the horror of children killed in deadly crossfire — handle it?
“Well, the Book of Job in the Bible helps keep my head clear,” Johnson said. “It helps you hold on to your faith when things go horribly wrong.”
The Book of Job helps him deal with his job?
“Look, there are not many things I’m afraid of, and I’m not really religious. But I am afraid of the man upstairs. And I’m not going to play around with him.
“When the going gets tough, I sit down and read Job again and again,” he said. “It’s what keeps me standing.
“It reminds me of why I took the job of a police officer in the first place. It’s not about me. It’s about giving back to the people.”
“I spent the first nine years of my life in Cabrini-Green when it was a community which actually stuck together and actually trusted the police,” he said. “Sure, crime was going on and there was the criminal element, but the community as a whole helped raise each other’s children. There was always a Mrs. Jones down the hall to help out.
“We left in 1969. Then in 1988 the daughter of one of my mom’s best friends, who happened to be one of my good friends, went to party and was abducted, raped and killed.
“So a friend of mine decided one way to change things was to become a cop. We took the test. That was it.
“Now everything has changed. These days gangs fight more over personal beefs rather than personal territory. The fights now stem from social media. Instead of fighting them, go straight to the weapon.
“Men with guns. Now over and over that’s what we hear: ‘Men with guns.’
“I just want people to know I will continue to fight for the city of Chicago and for the police officers of my city.”
Top cop shop . . .
Eddie Johnson, who has been busy fighting gun violence, is also battling the bulge.
Sneed is told Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose exercise regimen is a killer, had been busting the chops of the top cop about his weight.
• The upshot: “Eddie has been working out like a madman and has lost 25 pounds,” a top Sneed source said.
• The final shot: “His goal is to run with the mayor and the police recruits,” the source said. It’s something the mayor has been doing for a while now . . . like he did Friday morning in the rain.”
The landmark set . . .
The swell set hit the 2017 Legendary Landmarks Celebration on Thursday night to honor “living” landmarks who contribute to the city’s civic and cultural skyline.
• Thus, media maven/major Dem donor Fred Eychaner was described as “my hero” by former Gov. Pat Quinn; sculptor Richard Hunt, described as the most commissioned sculptor in the United States, was singled out by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke as “much beloved by my family”; and uber real estate developer Dan McCaffery, who was dubbed “all about love” by his son, Clayton, jokingly noted he decided to visit the “Re” section of Walgreens drugstore in hopes of “restoring and preserving myself” before the ceremony because “landmarks are defined as “old,” with the possible exception of the group’s youngest landmark: Leslie Hindman.”
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: “Empire” actor Xzibit spotted at Gibsons on Tuesday. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Adam Levine, 38; Queen Latifah, 47; and Vanessa Williams, 54. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Bruce Willis, 62; David Ross, 40; and Ursula Andress, 81.Tweets by @sneedlings