Chicago’s next top cop could soon be hired, and an African-American chief from Georgia is among the front-runners for the job.
The Chicago Police Board says it will be forwarding its three finalists to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel next week and sources close to the process say Cedric Alexander is among the top candidates and has been interviewed in Chicago.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would not confirm the candidates' names when asked Friday, but did not discount Alexander as a possibility.
"My goal is to re-establish the trust that's essential in communities," Emanuel said, noting that 39 people applied for the position.
Alexander serves as chief of police for DeKalb County, Georgia near Atlanta. He is also the National Second Vice President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
He has served as federal security director for the TSA in Dallas, Chief of police in Rochester, New York and as a police officer in Miami. He also lived on Chicago's South Side at one point as a child.
The police board began a nationwide search for the city’s next police superintendent in December, following the firing of former superintendent Garry McCarthy.
McCarthy and Emanuel came under fire after dash-cam video showing a police officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times was released to the public. The department is under investigation.
Last month, many frustrated people spoke candidly to members of the Chicago Police Board, demanding that the next top cop address the concerns of African Americans in the city.
Still, Alderman Roderick Sawyer prefers a Chicago candidate.
"I'm not saying the gentleman from Atlanta or any other applicant out of state or out of city would not be a good superintendent, but my preference quite honestly would be someone in the department," he said. "Additionally, my personal preference, I think it's time to see a woman there."
According to reports, Chicago officials had earlier reached out to Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier to gauge her interest in the job, but Lanier respectfully declined to be considered.