Search firm to look nationwide for next top cop, public school ratings dropped and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is about an eight-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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Chicago police Supt. David Brown.

Former Chicago Police Supt. David Brown.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times file

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about an eight-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

— Matt Moore (@MattKenMoore)

Weather ☀️

This afternoon will be sunny with a high near 66 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low near 45. Tomorrow will also be mostly cloudy with a high near 61 and a chance of showers.

Top story

Search firm hired to find Chicago’s permanent police superintendent

A search firm specializing in law enforcement will lead the nationwide search for Chicago’s permanent police superintendent — a search with a fast turnaround, May 7 application deadline.

The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, Chicago’s fledgling civilian oversight commission, announced yesterday it has hired Public Sector Search & Consulting.

Over the past five years, the firm that “works exclusively on searches for police executives” has spearheaded “more than 50 searches” — 18 in “major U.S. cities,” officials said. The Chicago search will be “led by two retired police chiefs.”

Public Sector Search & Consulting is currently hunting for an assistant chief and deputy chief in Seattle; police chiefs in Ithaca, N.Y., Steamboat Springs, Colo., and St. Joseph, Mo.; and an assistant chief in Bellevue, Wash., according to the firm’s website.

The search for a permanent replacement for newly-departed Chicago police Supt. David Brown was listed under “Coming Soon.” Also on that list: searches for police chiefs in Louisville, Ky., and Forest Grove, Ore., and a division chief in Wheat Ridge, Colo.

Earlier this week, attendees at a community forum, held by the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, advocated for CPD’s next leader to be chosen from within the department.

Several participants told the commission casting a nationwide net was a step in the wrong direction and that the next superintendent should have a fundamental understanding of Chicago that can only come from years of experience in the city.

“This nonsense of bringing in people from outside the city of Chicago and expecting them to understand the complications and things that our communities go through has been an abject failure,” one participant said.

More on the firm tasked with finding Chicago’s permanent police superintendent from our Fran Spielman.

More news you need

A bright one ✨

From Pilsen to Fulton Market, Nate Otto’s murals find beauty in the dense spaces of the city

Cities within a city — that’s what muralist Nate Otto has created with his half a dozen murals throughout Chicago.

“You see these buildings around you at all times,” says Otto, 49.

He sees his murals as a way of “composing” the environments that Chicagoans live in and presenting those in his art.

In a recent piece in Fulton Market, a blue and green cityscape fits neatly into a rectangle 20 feet by 10 feet on an apartment building at 160 N. Elizabeth St. About two miles away in Pilsen, similar silhouettes make up another cityscape, but this one shows a denser neighborhood portrayed in the colors of the Mexican flag — a nod to the community that makes up much of the area.


Nate Otto’s first mural, at Interior Define, 833 W. Armitage Ave.


The Pilsen piece, done in 2019, resembles most of his earlier murals. The city emerges from the bottom and the top of the painting, reflected by a blue sky with cartoon-like clouds floating through the center.

In the Fulton Market mural, the same types of buildings tell a different story — this one reflects the rapidly developing neighborhood it’s set in, with the nearby Chicago River snaking its way through the piece. Unlike Otto’s previous murals, it includes green space.

“I wanted it to be something that invoked the idea of open space,” he says. “Since that area has been so developed, there’s still snippets of the natural.”

Our Katie Anthony has more on Otto and his work.

For more on Chicago’s public art and the stories behind the pieces, subscribe to our weekly Murals and Mosaics newsletter.

From the press box 🏈⚾

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