New Chicago police chief has ties to New York during 9/11

Web Exclusive
May 02, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Amidst stepped up security following the death of Osama bin Laden, incoming Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Monday the appointment of a new police chief, who once served in New York during the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Emanuel formally introduced his top choice to become the Chicago police superintendent, the current Newark, N.J. Police Director Garry McCarthy.

“Each leader knows that Chicago’s public safety depends first and foremost on Chicago’s beat officers, firefighters, paramedics and dispatchers – the backbone of their departments and the bedrock of our city,” said Emanuel.

“Though the road ahead will not be easy and the results will not come as quickly as we need them to, I and this team will not rest until all Chicagoans can learn, work, and raise their families in safety and peace.”

McCarthy who rose from the ranks in the New York Police Department vowed to do his best in reducing the crime rate of Chicago. He was in New York when the Twin Towers collapsed in September 11, 2001 following the terrorist attack.

“The evolution of policing very simply is to reduce crime and do it partnership with the community. The community will be a force multiplier and the moral authority of the community has to be heard on the ears of the people who are committing that violence.”

“It’s certainly the most horrific event I’ve ever experienced,” McCarthy said of the 9/11 attacks. “What it did make me realize is just how precious life is.”

Aside from McCarthy, Robert Hoff will continue to lead theChicago Fire Department as Commissioner. Gary Schenkel will head the Office of Emergency Management & Communications, and Felicia Davis will join the Mayor-elect in City Hall as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety.

“Garry McCarthy, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s outstanding choice for Chicago Police Superintendent, is one of American law enforcement’s most dynamic and transformative police leaders,” William J. Bratton, former Police Commissioner, LAPD and NYPD said in a statement.

As this developed, the Chicago Tribune reported that police officers and Chicago’s video surveillance system have been stepped up following the death of bin Laden.

During the press conference announcing McCarthy’s appointment, outgoing chief Terry Hillard said the police assets are on alert.

Meanwhile, Emanuel said he wanted a diversity of experience when deciding who to appointment.

“I want people of diverse experience and I want people who can deliver results,” he said. “My standard is finding the diversity, the element of teamwork with the purpose of serving all the people of Chicago.”

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