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Is Mayor Lori Lightfoot looking for top cop’s replacement?

With the chiefs of police convention coming to town late in October, Mayor Lightfoot will have a chance to get a close look at other possibilities if she wants to replace Eddie Johnson.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson walk together May 23. The mayor may be looking to replace the police chief.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Top Cop shop . . .

Is the city’s police blotter in the process of soaking up new ink?

Sneed keeps hearing rumbles Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s minions have been quietly trolling for a new top cop for Chicago.

Well, maybe not officially yet.

Lightfoot may not be aggressively searching for a new police superintendent, but the meeting next month in Chicago of the world’s largest professional association of police leaders is raising eyebrows.

“It’s a perfect place to not only check out the who’s who of law enforcement throughout the country, but conduct interviews,” said a top police source.

Lightfoot, who respects Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson (who is hoping to keep his job), is frustrated with the city’s alarming summer shooting stats and continued violence.

It’s been rumored the mayor may begin to look for a new police chief when fall hits.

Although the burner may not be hot yet under Johnson, the Chicago meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police being held Oct. 26-29 at McCormick Place is considered to be the place to sift the chaff from the wheat when it comes to public safety. The organization is composed of 30,000 members in 150 countries.

If Lightfoot decides to select a new superintendent, she’s already got three members of her administration, who once worked for the Chicago Police Department, from whom she could seek advice.

Among them is the mayor’s chief of staff, Maurice Classen, the go-to guy in Lightfoot’s administration.

Backshot: Classen, who was Lightfoot’s transition chief of staff, was the former director of strategy for the Chicago Police Department who served with Lightfoot on the Task Force for Police Accountability after the police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

On Saturday, Classen issued a statement saying “it is categorically false that our administration is searching for a replacement for Superintendent Johnson. The Superintendent is a critical member of our team and we all remain focused on building on the reductions in violence achieved over the summer months. As the Mayor has said multiple times in the past, she and the Superintendent will meet this fall to discuss the results of the summer strategy and next steps for the Department.”

Top cop tip No. 2 . . .

Sneed has learned former Illinois State Police Chief Leo Schmitz, former commander of the Englewood Police 7th District, has just been hired as the new chief of public safety for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Word has been circulating in the police chat rooms Schmitz might have been under consideration for Chicago’s top job.

Deal em . . .

Gov. J.B. Pritzker tells Sneed he’s been “antsy” keeping his leg up since being grounded by a hairline femur fracture in his left leg last week.

“I have a habit of pacing when I talk on the phone,” Pritzker told Sneed. “But now that I’m calling constituents while trying to work out of a chair, I unconsciously start to head up and out — and my wife M.K. now constantly yells at me to sit down!”

Fielding mucho bipartisan get-well missives; including one from Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Pritzker claims he has added a little fun to his sedentary regime.

“On weekends, a buddy comes to my house to play gin rummy!”

Sneedlings . . .

Congrats to Kimberly Bares on being named the first female CEO of the Magnificent Mile Association. . . . I spy: Bears Eddie Jackson, Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks spotted at TAO nightclub last weekend. . . . Ditto for HBO’s Sydney “Euphoria” Sweeney. . . “Chicago Fire” star Taylor Kinney spotted Thursday watching the Bears home opener at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Kevin Love, 31; Leslie Jones, 52; and Donovan Mitchell, 23. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Bernie Sanders, 78; Brooke Burke, 48; and Wiz Khalifa, 32.