53 people applied to be Chicago’s next police superintendent. Fred Waller is not among them.

More than half of the applicants came from people affiliated at one time with CPD. The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability will submit three names to Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson by mid-July.

SHARE 53 people applied to be Chicago’s next police superintendent. Fred Waller is not among them.
Anthony Driver Jr., president of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, announced Wednesday that 53 people applied to be Chicago’s next police superintendent.

Anthony Driver Jr. heads a community panel tasked with interviewing all qualified Chicago police superintendent applicants and submitting three candidates to the mayor in July.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file

A majority of the 53 people who have applied to run the Chicago Police Department work for or have worked in the department, says the city commission tasked with narrowing the field of candidates.

Of the applicants, 32 are people who were at one point affiliated with the police department. Soon-to-be interim Supt. Fred Waller did not apply by the deadline Sunday.

Waller last week said he was not interested in the permanent job. He’ll become interim superintendent May 15 when Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson is sworn in.

“He’s a man of his word,” Anthony Driver Jr., president of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, said in a news conference Wednesday at City Hall.

The commission will now interview all qualified applicants and present three names to Johnson by July 14.

Driver said the search “represents a transformative opportunity to shape the future of law enforcement in our city.”

“Our goal is to find a superintendent who understands the complexities of policing a diverse city like ours,” but who also embodies “our shared values of equity, justice and community-centered policing,” he said.

Most of the 53 applicants are men; 11 are women, Driver said. Twenty-two applicants are Black, 24 are white and seven are Hispanic.

Applicants are from 10 states, and one applicant lives outside the U.S., but Driver did not say where.

Six applicants have experience as a police chief of a “major city,” Driver said.

The commission began a nationwide search in early March after then-Supt. David Brown announced his resignation the day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost her campaign for reelection.

This is the first search for police superintendent since the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability was created in 2021.

In previous searches, the Chicago Police Board would forward three names to the mayor, who picked a candidate and got City Council approval.

Driver said the commission’s search has been guided by the community. His commission has held a series of public forums since April, seeking input on what the community wants in the next superintendent.

Driver said many people in the community have said they want the next top cop to be someone who “puts the community first” and who views the federal consent decree ordering sweeping reforms within the police department — a result of the 2014 fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald — as “a floor, not a ceiling.”

Three more community forums are scheduled over the next month.

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