Following reports of a Monday night police commander shakeup, Supt. Garry McCarthy called his staff changes an evolutionary process that puts the best people in the right position.
"It's all part of the process of internal mechanisms, integrity, legitimizing what we're doing," McCarthy told NBC Chicago. "There's a career path for executives to move the best and the brightest forward, and this represents it."
McCarthy said 19 of 23 district commanders have been replaced on his watch. Most recently Joseph Gorman, touted as one of the department's foremost gang experts, was named commander of the 9th District, which experienced the largest shooting increase in the city.
Other changes include moving Cmdr. Chris Kennedy from the 1st District to Gang Investigations, Cmdr. David Jarmusz from the 9th to the Mass Transit Unit, Cmdr. Melissa Staples from the 17th to the 12th District, Cmdr. John Graeber from Mass Transit to the 1st, Executive Officer James Jones from the 5th to acting commander of the 20th and Cmdr. Lucy Moy-Bartosik to CAPS reorganization.
"The district command is the most important position that we have, and it's a very difficult job, and that's where we put in all the authority, all the accountability," McCarthy said.
McCarthy said weekend crime was not a result of recent department changes, which he said were in the planning stages for some time.
Over the weekend eight people were killed and 28 were injured in shootings. On Monday night another 11 were injured, including an off-duty corrections officer shot six times on the side of the road.
Murders are up 19 percent in Chicago since Nov. 25 and shootings are up 11 percent. Overall crime is down 9 percent.