Sheriff hires talk show host to fight carjackings and roadway shootings (at $89,999 a year)

Roe Conn | Wikipedia

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has added a new member to his agency’s anti-carjacking squad: former radio talk show host Roe Conn. News of the career change — Conn called it an “unexpected pivot” at age 57— first appeared in Robert Feder’s media report Thursday.

The long-time radio talker is “currently working on a crime analytics team specializing in vehicular hijacking and roadway shootings,” Feder reported.

As you might expect, we had some questions about the county’s newest crime fighter.

Dart’s team told us Conn actually joined the sheriff’s office on March 2 at an annual salary of $89,999. He’s “required to work a minimum of 40 hours per week” and is based at the department’s west suburban Maywood headquarters, Dart’s office said.

But the department never posted the job opening, so people with experience fighting carjackings and roadway shootings didn’t have an opportunity to apply.

Dart’s office said the job “was not required to be posted” because it “is policy focused and serves at the will of the elected official.”

“It should be no surprise that an individual like Roe Conn, who spent years interacting with people from many different backgrounds and areas of expertise, would be a valuable asset in our efforts,” Dart’s office said.

Conn, the sheriff’s office said, is working to “develop programs and processes that expand our agency’s crime data collection and dissemination efforts to support our local, state, and federal partners.”

“Our town is facing a tough battle ahead,” Conn told Feder. “I couldn’t be more proud to get the chance to work alongside these amazing men and women who try to make our streets safer and our city better.”

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