David Brown to undergo training necessary to wear CPD uniform

“Superintendent Brown respects the uniform and all that it represents. He is eager to become sworn and wear the Chicago Police Department uniform as soon as possible,” said Police Department spokesman Tom Ahern.

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Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown was introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on April 2, 2020 as her choice to take over the top job at the Chicago Police Department.

Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown was introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in April as her choice to take over the top job at the Chicago Police Department.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Since arriving from Dallas, newly appointed Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has talked about shooting for the moon and holding the number of homicides under 300.

Now, he plans to do all of that while wearing a CPD uniform.

“As a law enforcement member with 33 years of experience, Superintendent Brown respects the uniform and all that it represents. He is eager to become sworn and wear the Chicago Police Department uniform as soon as possible,” Police Department spokesman Tom Ahern wrote Tuesday in an email response to questions from the Sun-Times.

To wear the uniform, Brown must meet requirements for previously sworn officers established by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Board, Ahern said.

As a first step, CPD has requested a “conditional waiver of Illinois basic law enforcement training” for Brown as per the board’s so called “Out-of-State Trained Reciprocity Process,” Ahern said.

“In the short term, the superintendent will also submit his application to the state, who will then evaluate what requirements he would have to complete in the way of online classes” through the police academy, Ahern wrote.

“His prior training record from the Dallas PD will be part of the evaluation process in determining what additional requirements are needed. The process is expected to take approximately two months to complete.”

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy spent roughly three months undergoing the training needed to wear the Chicago Police uniform after spending his entire career as a high-ranking deputy at the New York City Police Department and as police chief in Newark.

McCarthy was subsequently hailed as a modern-day Gen. Douglas MacArthur for his front-line leadership during the 2012 NATO Summit.

Dressed in his white uniform shirt — and no helmet or body armor — McCarthy stood on the front lines, calling the shots like a football coach. He helped defuse a potentially volatile confrontation with provocateurs at Michigan and Cermak avenues.

On Tuesday, McCarthy praised his “friend” David Brown for undergoing the training needed to wear the police uniform.

“The best conversations I ever had at CPD was at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning on the South Side. When they know you’re out there with them putting yourself at risk, that’s real leadership. You can’t do that unless you’re certified,” McCarthy said.

“Chicago Police officers are a special breed. … It’s very important to the Chicago PD to feel that somebody has their back. The way you do that is by going out and showing them that, ‘I’m one of you. I do what you do. I’m gonna keep doing this. And I’m very comfortable doing it.’”

Wearing the CPD uniform — and undergoing the training necessary — is the best way for an outsider to win over Chicago Police officers, McCarthy said.

“I didn’t go through the ranks in Chicago. But I was out there making gun arrests with them. I was out there on the front lines at NATO. That’s what leadership is about. It’s about, ‘Come with me’ — not ‘Go do that,’” he said.

“In order to go out on Friday and Saturday night on the South and West Side and make some gun arrests, you have to be certified as a police officer in Illinois.”

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy talks to members of the med as the Occupy movement and anti-NATO protestors march to Boeing’s headquarters behind him on Lake street on Monday, May 21, 2012.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy talks to reporters as the Occupy movement and anti-NATO protestors march to Boeing’s headquarters in May 2012.

Sun-Times Media Brian Powers/Su


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