After 19 months as the top dog in our 19th District, Chicago Police Commander Robert Cesario is packing up, according to two department sources.
|Cesario (left) is out, Buslik is in | Chicago Police Department|
The sources said Commander Marc Buslik, a 32-year veteran of the department, will replace Cesario next week.
The Chicago Police Department routinely shuffles command-level staff every 18- to 24 months.
Since February, Buslik has been working as the department’s liaison with federal investigators who are reviewing Chicago’s police operations. Before that, he was the commander of the 14th District, which protects much of Bucktown, Wicker Park, and Avondale.
Buslik won a special place in our hearts when he told a 14th District community policing (CAPS) meeting that “CAPS is dead. We need to drive a stake right through its heart,” in June 2015.
Buslik’s reasoning was that community-involved policing should be standard practice in the modern era. We agree. We also think that CAPS offices across the city are filled with police officers and sergeants whose time could be better used on the streets instead of printing flyers and running ineffectual dog-and-pony community meetings.
His willingness to speak openly about the CAPS program won praise for Buslik in the often colorful comments section of the Second City Cop blog.
The 14th District also piloted the CPD’s police body camera program under Buslik’s command.
Cesario quickly gained a reputation here as an aloof and unresponsive civil servant among residents who had grown accustomed to personal attention and open communication provided by his predecessor, Commander Elias Voulgaris.
Two Chicago police officers named Cesario as a defendant in a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged the cops were blackballed by superiors for helping to investigate crooked officers.
Their lawsuit argued that Cesario, then a lieutenant in the fugitive apprehension unit, told the officers that “they were being moved up north, will not go to the U.S. Marshall’s [sic] Task Force, will not get a take home car, Marshall’s [sic] pay, overtime, or deputized. That will never happen for you” among other things.
The city this month settled the lawsuit for $2 million.
Cesario will now be the department’s liaison with the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications.