CHICAGO — The Chicago Council voted unanimously to confirm Larry Snelling as the city’s next police superintendent.
Snelling was sworn in around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Addressing alders, Snelling talked about his new era.
“We’ve got to prevent crime,” he said. “It’s always good to say we caught the bad guy, it’s always good to say we caught the guy that committed the robbery of the murder. It’s always better if we can prevent it. We’re going to need everyone for that.”
Larry Snelling steps into the superintendent role after spending years training officers at the police academy. Most recently, the 54-year-old served as Chief of the Department of Counterterrorism.
A son of Englewood who now reuses in Woodlawn, Snelling, who took over for interim Supt. Fred Waller, now oversees a department managing a surge in robberies and vehicle thefts.
According to CPD, robberies are up 24 percent year over year, carjackings 82 percent.
“The detectives division along with our officers are doing really hard work in apprehending these subjects,” Snelling said. “We’re also going to have teams that we put together just to focus on these particular types of incidents. This will be the focus.”
It took a nationwide search to narrow down the field to Chief Snelling. He’s been with the department for 31 years and is from Chicago, which was one qualification Mayor Brandon Johnson wanted in his next superintendent.
While shootings and homicides are trending in the right direction, crime overall is up year over year in Chicago. Council members, however, think Snelling is the right man for the job.
The city will look to Snelling for crime-fighting solutions, but Mayor Brandon Johnson is asking for patience as tries to implement long-term fixes.
“The need for safety is also a need for housing for education for good-paying jobs,” Johnson said.
For the first time, a community commission picked three superintendent candidates after its months-long nationwide search to replace David Brown.
Out of the finalists, Johnson selected Snelling.
Before sailing through his confirmation hearing Friday, Snelling told council members addressing violent crime and officer training are top priorities. He’ll be taking over a department that has seen large numbers of officers leaving and a department finding it increasingly difficult to find new recruits.