clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

McCarthy’s confidant joins exodus from Chicago Police Department

Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s most trusted adviser has retired to work in the private sector, continuing the massive shake-up of the department that began when the city released the Laquan McDonald video.

Robert Tracy was the chief crime strategist for the police department, creating and running CompStat, a program that uses crime statistics and gang intelligence to hold commanders responsible for crime in their districts.

Tracy has accepted an “executive-level security position,” according to the police department.

Tracy, who was paid $194,256 a year, was previously a captain for the New York Police Department and worked in private security, including the position of vice president of global crisis management for Citi.

He came to Chicago after Mayor Rahm Emanuel hired McCarthy in 2011. Tracy was seen as a confidant of McCarthy — a fellow New Yorker who ran the CompStat program for the New York Police Department.

McCarthy and Tracy modeled Chicago’s CompStat program after the original version in New York.

Interim Police Supt. John Escalante, who replaced McCarthy after the mayor fired him on Dec. 1, praised Tracy for his work for the department. On Monday, Tracy notified Escalante of his plans to retire. Tracy will stay on the job until Feb. 1.

“For more than 30 years, Chief Tracy has served two major cities as a police officer and public servant,” Escalante said in a statement.

“He and his team are directly responsible for helping Chicago achieve notable reductions in crime and violence and implementing industry-leading policies and methods to help the CPD better serve the people of Chicago,” Escalante said.

Tracy’s exit continues a management reorganization prompted by the November release of a video of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014. Van Dyke has been charged with murder, and the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation of the department’s practices.

Under Tracy, the department launched technology-based strategies to identify people most likely to become shooters or victims and reach out to them to persuade them to change their lifestyles.

He also helped to launch “area saturation teams” and “impact zones” designed to put large numbers of officers into small areas where most of the violent crime happens in the city.

The results of those strategies were mixed in 2015: There were more than 470 homicides in Chicago — greater than any year since 2012 — and more than 2,900 shooting victims. Still, other types of crime were down in 2015 and the year-end murder total was lower than when McCarthy and Tracy took office in 2011.