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Fred Waller named Chicago interim police superintendent

Fred Waller

Photo caption: Fred Waller 

Veteran police official Fred Waller on Wednesday, May 3 was named Chicago’s interim police superintendent by Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson.

Waller will be sworn in as the interim police superintendent at Credit Union One Arena at UIC Pavilion the morning of May 15, along with new members of the City Council. He will assume duties the same day interim Superintendent Eric Carter will retire and the day Johnson officially becomes mayor.

Waller is a 34-year veteran of the force who retired nearly three years ago as chief of operations. He was the fourth highest ranking member of the department when he retired as chief of operations.

By July 14 Mayor-Elect Johnson will be presented with three finalists for police superintendent by the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.

In August 2020, Waller, then 58, followed First Deputy Anthony Riccio in retirement and joined Riccio as a top executive at Monterrey Security. Now, Waller will temporarily lead the nation’s second largest police force.

His appointment comes as Chicago prepares for the summer season, traditionally the most violent time of the year for crime, shootings and homicides.

Chicago’s permanent superintendent, David Brown, resigned March 15. During Brown’s tenure, violent crime and murders soared and the force had 1,700 fewer officers than when Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office.

The firm Public Sector Search & Consulting is conducting a national search for Chicago’s next top cop. Over the last five years, the firm that “works exclusively on searches for police executives” has spearheaded “more than 50 searches,” 18 in “major U.S. cities,” officials said. The Chicago search is “led by two retired police chiefs.”

Meanwhile, the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability is holding public meetings as some groups push campaigns that support certain candidates. The Commission must choose three finalists for Mayor-elect Johnson by July 14.

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