CHICAGO — The search for a new Chicago police superintendent has narrowed to three finalists.
The finalists to replace former Supt. Garry McCarthy are: Cedric Alexander, public safety director of DeKalb County, Georgia; Anne Kirkpatrick, retired police chief of Spokane, Wash.; and Chicago Deputy Police Supt. Eugene Williams.
Here's a look at their backgrounds:
• Cedric Alexander, public safety director of DeKalb County, Georgia.
His official biography says he holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
Alexander also served as the Federal Security Director for the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services; Chief of Police of the Rochester Police Department; and held several leadership roles at the University of Rochester Department of Psychiatry in New York. He was also in law enforcement in Florida for 15 years.
A local TV station said he was hired in Georgia in April 2013 "amidst scandal and ethical violations" within the department.
"This is more than arresting bad guys. Police work also is about working with people in the community … where the police and community work very close together,” he told WAOK.
Said one minister who worked with him in New York: "Cedric changes the culture of organizations. He expects the best of people, and he helps them do their best."
In Rochester, he developed a 40-hour voluntary mental health training program for police officers called the Emotionally Disturbed Person Response Team. Police officers were taught how to assess mental health issues and how to calm potentially violent situations.
• Anne Kirkpatrick, retired police chief of Spokane, Wash.
According to the Seattle Times, she retired from the Spokane department in 2012 and moved to Seattle to become the chief deputy in the King County Sheriff's Department. In 2010, she was a semifinalist in the selection for Seattle’s chief of police, the paper said.
In a 2014 story, the Times said she had joined the FBI to "work with law enforcement agencies across the country on issues involving police discipline as well as credibility and leadership." She reportedly worked with the Justice Department when the federal agency investigated the Spokane police.
“I will stand behind my officers, but I will not tolerate egregious officer misconduct,” she told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2015 when she was a finalist for the top job there, describing herself as "strict."
"Kirkpatrick and the Spokane Police Guild had a tumultuous relationship as she attempted police reform and high-profile disciplinary actions that were overturned in court many times," the paper reported.
When she left Spokane, the department had "low morale," according to Spokane media reports.
• Deputy Police Supt. Eugene Williams, chief of the Chicago Police Department's Bureau of Support Services, which oversees training and accountability.
His 36-year work history for the department includes praise for his efforts commanding a violent, drug-infested West Side Austin police district. He was reportedly among candidates favored by a group of black alderman. He also has support from black ministers. Last year, he spoke at a prayer service at mourning victims of Chicago gun violence.
Williams is also the president of the local chapter of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives. The Sun-Times described him as a "shining star" of the department.
The Chicago Police Board announced the candidates at a 10 a.m. meeting Thursday at the Harold Washington Library.
Under the process, the board nominates the three candidates. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will decide who the new superintendent will be with the approval of the City Council. The mayor would only tell reporters Thursday, "I'm eager to meet them." Emanuel could reject all three candidates.
McCarthy, who earned $260,000 annually, was forced out amid cases of police misconduct, including the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald. In the interim, he was replaced by John Escalante, who had expressed interest in permanently filling the job.
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