Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday that she selected Dallas' former police chief, David Brown, to be Chicago's next police superintendent.
"David Brown's track record of integrity, honor and legitimacy exemplifies what it means to be a Chicago police officer," Lightfoot said. "Through his nationally-recognized leadership and years of on-the-ground work to create a culture rooted in transparency, accountability and community policing, he will build on our all-hands-on-deck effort to create real, widespread and lasting public safety in our communities."
The Chicago Police Board announced Brown among its top three candidates for the position Wednesday. Also nominated were CPD Deputy Chief Ernest Cato and west suburban Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman. The three finalists were selected from a pool of 25 people who applied for the job.
A vote is expected on Lightfoot's decision later this month.
Brown was with the Dallas Police Department for 33 years, spending his last six as the city's top cop before his retirement in 2016. Perhaps most notably during his tenure, he lead the department during the city's deadly police shooting in July 2016, when a gunman targeted officers in downtown Dallas, fatally shooting five officers and wounding nine others. Since his retirement, he's taken advisory roles and speaking engagements on security, law enforcement and crisis management, according to his website.
“While we may hail from different backgrounds and walks of life, as police officers, we are all united to answer a call to rise and serve our fellow neighbors, communities and cities,” Brown said in a statement. “I want to thank Mayor Lightfoot for giving me this honor to serve alongside Chicago’s 13,000 police officers and build upon this city’s historic crime reductions and reform efforts that will create not only a safer city, but also a stronger Chicago Police Department.”
The next superintendent will replace former Supt. Eddie Johnson, who Lightfoot fired in December, one month before his previously planned retirement was set to take effect.
She alleged that he "intentionally misled" her and the public about an October incident in which he was found slumped behind the wheel of his car. He initially said a change in his medication caused him to become lightheaded, but later admitted that he had been drinking prior to the incident.
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has served as interim CPD superintendent until a permanent replacement is chosen.
“Chief David Brown is a consummate professional and highly-decorated and respected leader in law enforcement, who I have known for many years,” Beck said in a statement. “His commitment to community policing coupled with his high degree of integrity and his personal story of service and sacrifice positions him to be a formidable candidate to take over as Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department."
He called the decision "historic for this department and this city."
Brown said he looks forward to working with Chicago officers and offered one message to city residents:
"David Brown... reporting for duty," he said.