CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson addressed the media Wednesday afternoon, where the city’s next top cop, the ongoing migrant crisis, and upcoming events were among the topics of discussion.
With the deadline to make his selection for Chicago police’s new superintendent fast approaching, Johnson said he is purposely being deliberate.
“It’s important that we’re intentional and that we take our time so that we make the right decision,” Johnson said.
The superintendent finalists are Larry Snelling and Angel Novalez, both high-ranking officials from within CPD, and Shon Barnes, who serves as police chief in Madison, Wisconsin.
Johnson said he is in the process of scheduling time for each candidate to make presentations.
“I want to make sure that whatever decision we make and whoever we decide to hire, that the people of Chicago are very clear about how that decision is made,” the mayor said. “So, those initial conversations with the three candidates will begin shortly.”
As Johnson picks the next leader of the department, he’s facing questions about the interim superintendent.
WBEZ is reporting that in 1994, Fred Waller was accused of domestic violence by his then-wife, who ultimately stopped cooperating with an investigation of the incident before CPD concluded the complaint was not sustained.
The mayor shrugged off the report.
“Fred Waller being willing to come out of retirement to serve in this capacity is a tremendous sacrifice,” he said. “As far as any dynamics that have occurred in the past, as I understand it, that investigation of that initial investigation has been settled and solved.”
As he prepares for the city’s next big summer event — Lollapalooza this weekend — the mayor is wrestling with how to deal with Chicago’s influx of migrants.
“Here’s what I’m committed to doing; honoring the law of being a sanctuary city and building a system of care that provides a pathway with dignity for individuals who are seeking refuge here in the city of Chicago,” he said.
In recent weeks, the Johnson administration has been focused on moving migrants from police stations to city shelters.
“No one should be living in police stations,” Johnson said. “No one should be.”
As various city stakeholders raise concerns about scarce resources being used to support the migrants, Mayor Johnson insists the city will continue to welcome new residents.