WILLOW SPRINGS, Ill. — Former Chicago Police Superintendent and mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy has accepted the job as interim police chief in southwest suburban Willow Springs.
A press conference was held Thursday morning announcing McCarthy’s appointment in the town of about 5,000 people near the Cook and DuPage county border.
“We welcome Garry McCarthy as the Chief of Police for Willow Springs,” Mayor Melissa Neddermeyer said in a statement. “We are confident in his leadership to oversee our police operations because he is an experienced and well-trained professional.”
Reached by phone Wednesday, McCarthy declined to comment.
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hired McCarthy to lead the CPD in 2011, though he was fired in 2015 in the wake of the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video. McCarthy later mounted an unsuccessful campaign for mayor of Chicago.
While McCarthy was CPD superintendent, the city saw between roughly 400 and 500 murders per year. In 2021, the city saw nearly 800 killings.
Records from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office show that Willow Springs, a village of about 5,000 people, has recorded just one homicide since the start of 2014.
Before he was hired by Emanuel, McCarthy held top posts in the Newark, N.J. and New York City police departments. The U.S. Department of Justice investigated the Newark police after McCarthy’s departure and found a “pattern or practice of unconstitutional stops, searches, arrests, use of excessive force and theft by officers in violation of the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments.”
After McCarthy was fired, the DOJ opened an investigation into the CPD. That inquiry, which led to the CPD’s ongoing consent decree, found the police department engaged in a “pattern or practice of using force, including deadly force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The department found that CPD officers’ practices unnecessarily endanger themselves and result in unnecessary and avoidable uses of force.”