CHICAGO — Community members met Wednesday night at St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham to speak out on what attributes they want to see in the next Chicago Police Department superintendent.
Wednesday’s meeting was the second of four public forums held by the newly formed Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.
These sessions are crucial to the commission as the community’s feedback will help them select three finalists for the new mayor to choose from.
“We’re an independent body,” Anthony Driver, Dr., the president of the commission, said. “We’re not beholden to any administration or city council or any particular party. Rather we’re beholden to the community. Our job is to be your voice and to make sure you’re all heard.”
At the forefront of their search process is input from Chicagoans. Those who spoke said they’d like a superintendent to focus on resolving issues unique to the city.
“Adam Toledo, Anthony Alvarez and Reginald Clay Jr. and many others need justice,” Matt Hermes said. “Taking their killers off the police force would be justice by itself, but it’s a necessary start.”
While the commission is seeking nationwide for the best candidates, a consensus from many in attendance is they want someone from CPD.
“We should hire a superintendent from Chicago,” Flora Williams said.
“Come up through the ranks,” Darryl Jackson said. “They know the neighborhood, they know the city, they know the community. So that makes a very big difference.”
Community members strongly believe who is ever tasked with leading the police department is someone who truly understands the community and wants to be part of it.
“Come out into the neighborhoods and meet himself,” Sidney Brooks said. “Talks to us in the community and get an understand of what we see.”