A retired West Coast police chief who has said cops should be “guardians not warriors” was appointed Tuesday to carry out reforms within the Chicago Police Department.
Anne Kirkpatrick, the former police chief of Spokane, Washington, was picked by Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to head the department’s new Bureau of Professional Standards, said Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman for the department.
Kirkpatrick was one of the finalists to become Chicago Police superintendent in a selection process that resulted in Mayor Rahm Emanuel hiring Johnson earlier this year.
Johnson also made several other appointments this week, including naming Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Charise Valente as his general counsel and Robert Boik, a former top CPS official, as his chief of staff. Johnson’s current chief of staff, James Roussell, will become his chief of crime strategy. And former veteran Fox 32 anchor Robin Robinson will be head of community affairs and also act as a department spokeswoman.
As for Kirkpatrick, her job will be to carry out the recommendations of Emanuel’s handpicked Police Accountability Task Force that he created in the aftermath of the Laquan McDonald scandal.
Kirkpatrick was among three finalists to replace Garry McCarthy, the former police superintendent, who was fired on Dec. 1 by the mayor. McCarthy was dumped because of the public furor over the November release of a video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald in 2014. Van Dyke has been charged with murder.
Emanuel chose not to hire any of the finalists recommended by the Chicago Police Board and instead chose Johnson, a department insider.
Kirkpatrick, a Memphis native and a lawyer, was chief of the Spokane department from 2006 to 2011.
During her tenure, the U.S. Justice Department released a statement saying there was “an extensive cover-up” involving a Spokane cop eventually convicted of using excessive force in the fatal beating of an unarmed janitor and lying about it. Kirkpatrick, who started her job months after the beating happened, was not named in that statement.
Kirkpatrick then became second-in-command of the King County Sheriff’s Department. She left in 2014 after a scandal blew up involving a deputy later convicted of promoting prostitution.
Most recently, Kirkpatrick has been an instructor with the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association in the Seattle area. She spoke to legislators last year about ways to reduce officers’ use of lethal force.
Lori Lightfoot, president of the Chicago Police Board, praised Kirkpatrick’s selection.