Former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck has been appointed Interim Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. In her Friday announcement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot praised Beck as a reformer.
“Chief Beck has a well-deserved national reputation for leading the reform era of the Los Angeles Police Department that was rooted in the principles of transparency, accountability, and community partnership. That strategy led to historic results in crime reduction citywide,” Lightfoot said. “Through his renowned transformational community policing, Chief Beck has proven to be a singular leader with the strength and vision to help lay the foundation for the changes our city needs as we move forward into the next era of the Chicago Police Department.”
The 66-year-old Long Beach native will serve during the Chicago Police Board’s nationwide search process for a permanent Superintendent, which officially began today.
Beck joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1977 and rose through the ranks of police officer, sergeant, lieutenant and commander over 41 years.
Beck oversaw the implementation of nationally recognized reforms and community policing initiatives that not only brought the LAPD into compliance with a federal Consent Decree after 12 years, but also resulted in historically low crime rates across Los Angeles, according to a statement from Lightfoot’s office.
“I am truly privileged for the opportunity to now serve as Interim Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department and build upon the incredible work done by [former Superintendent Eddie] Johnson and the dedicated police officers in Chicago.”
As L.A. police chief, Beck barred officers from making arrests based solely on immigration status and ensured the department did not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on any immigration enforcement activities.
“While the patch on his sleeve may have differed from ours, Chief Beck brings more than 40 years of major city policing leadership to Chicago, and through his leadership and steady hands, he’ll maintain the momentum and lay the foundation for the next Superintendent of Chicago’s finest,” said Johnson. “Chief Beck is not only a good friend of mine but he’s also been a mentor for me during the department’s most tumultuous times, and I have full confidence he will build on the reforms underway today to create a better police department for tomorrow.”
As part of the leadership transition process over the coming weeks, Beck and Johnson will meet with Chicago’s police officers, community leaders, clergy, aldermen and advocates to hear the concerns and priorities of Chicago’s residents.
Upon completion of the search process, the Police Board will submit three nominees to the Mayor, who will then appoint the Superintendent from the Board’s list with the advice and consent of the City Council.