Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Garry McCarthy

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Who Is He: Born in Bronx, New York, Garry McCarthy comes from a law enforcement family. His father was a New York police detective and his brother was a New York State police officer. He served the New York Police Department between 1981 and 2006, achieving the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Operations, and leading the police efforts at Ground Zero after 9-11. Prior to being selected as the Chicago Police Superintendent, McCarthy had served as police director in Newark, NJ since 2006. He is credited with an overall 12 percent decrease in crime during his tenure in Newark. During that period shooting incidents and murders fell by 40 percent.

City Salary: McCarthy is the highest paid city employee with an annual salary of $260,004.

Goals: McCarthy wants to limit the calls answered by officers. He would like to see the city’s 311 non-emergency center better utilized so that his officers can do more policing than running around on non-emergency calls. He says he will continue to target drug dealers and place beat officers in areas that are known to traffic drug customers. He is attentive to the challenge of officer safety and does not want officers in cars without a partner between midnight and 8 a.m. Consistent with Emanuel’s campaign platform, McCarthy would like to increase the number of officers out patrolling the streets and decrease the number of officers in desk jobs. A proponent He has been known to pay attention to small crime as a means to deter large scale infractions.

Challenges: The city’s financial situation will make it difficult for McCarthy to hire new officers. Changes that come will be the result of restructuring rather than increasing the police force. This may be less effective at creating the change McCarthy wants to see. He also faces the challenge of educating citizens about the appropriate use of the 311 non-emergency center. Without an understanding of what constitutes an emergency, it will be difficult to scale down the high volume of calls the 911 center receives.

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Related Topics Rahm Emanuel, Garry McCarthy
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