CHICAGO — Nearly two months after David Brown announced his resignation as Chicago’s police superintendent, only six people have applied to take his place. On Wednesday, with the May 7 application deadline fast approaching, the group responsible for selecting three finalists for the position announced it is hiring a recruitment firm to drum up more candidates.
A spokesperson for the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) confirmed on Tuesday that the group had only received a half-dozen applications for the top cop job. By comparison, the city’s last search for a superintendent drew 23 applicants within five weeks. Two more were subsequently added to the list, with 14 of the 25 applications coming from candidates outside the city.
Previous searches for superintendent candidates drew 44 applicants in 2011 and 39 in 2016.
Wednesday, CCPSA said it hired Public Sector Search & Consulting to help search for more candidates. The firm “works exclusively on searches for police executives” and has led more than 50 searches, including 18 for major cities, the commission’s press release said.
Why have only six people expressed an interest in leading one of the nation’s largest police departments? Some law enforcement executives we spoke with said outside interest may be low because the general feeling is that the next superintendent will be hired from within CPD.
Others suggested that qualified candidates may be opting out because they feel that the current state of the department combined with the city’s political environment offers a low probability of success.
CCPSA must get the three finalists’ names in Johnson’s hands by mid-July. Johnson will also need to name a new interim superintendent to take over on May 15 because Eric Carter, who took over when Brown left in mid-March, announced his retirement last week.