Chicago’s mayor on Friday named former Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck to serve as Chicago’s interim police superintendent, a day after the city’s top police officer announced he’s retiring.
Beck’s name surfaced as a possible interim superintendent even before Eddie Johnson made his expected announcement that he was stepping down after more than three years as superintendent and more than 30 years with the department. Johnson, 59, will remain with the department until the end of the year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday.
The son of a Los Angeles Department Police Chief deputy chief, Beck spent more than 40 years with the police force replacing William Bratton as chief in 2009. He retired last year on his 65th birthday.
In his nine years as chief, Beck gained was known for mixing reforms with old-school policing. His tenure was marked with efforts to improve community relations, particularly amid the Black Lives Matter movement, and he equipped officers with body cameras. Like Johnson, he refused to help federal authorities in their push against illegal immigration.
But Beck, now 66, clashed with the civilian police commission that oversees the department, as well as the district attorney’s office and the police union. In an unprecedented move, he recommended that prosecutors charge an officer who shot and killed an unarmed homeless man in 2015, though the district attorney’s office declined to file a case.
Don Babwin, The Associated Press