Someone Getting Disbanded?
Interim Chicago Police Supt. Terry Hillard is chipping away at the legacy of his predecessor — Jody Weis — by changing the department’s command structure and preparing to move cops to the patrol division from specialized units, sources said Wednesday.
Hillard is considering moving 100 officers from the department’s 260-officer Mobile Strike Force back to the patrol division. He is also looking to move officers from other special citywide units to patrol, sources said.
That would be a big step toward Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s campaign pledge to put 1,000 beat officers on the street.
Sources said one of Hillard’s first priorities as interim superintendent was to return the department to the chain of command that existed before Weis took office in 2008.
Weis’ chief of staff Michael Masters — a civilian with a law degree from Harvard University — had served as one of the main gatekeepers for Weis’ command staff. Weis didn’t rely as heavily on his two assistant superintendents, James Jackson and Beatrice Cuello.
Hillard has returned to a system in which the police brass report directly to Cuello, who is in charge of administration, and Jackson, who runs law-enforcement operations.
Some of Hillard’s moves have the whiff of a purge. Masters left the department last week and Robert Roman, a commander assigned to Weis’ office, was forced to resign Wednesday, sources said. Other Weis loyalists such as Cmdr. Frank Gross have been moved out of the superintendent’s office and placed in districts.
Labels: department issues