‘Outsider' Cop Candidate Seeks Insider Status

Garry McCarthy wants to prove he's a Chicago kinda guy.

The Newark, N.J., police chief and finalist in Chicago's police superintendent search told the Sun-Times on Friday that if picked for the job, he's willing to do what former top cop Jody Weis never did: go through the Chicago Police Academy.  

McCarthy is considered a front-runner for the position thanks to his street cop background and experience with CompStat, a program that helped reduce homicide rates in New York City. Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has emphasized his desire for both of those qualities, saying he wants someone who supports beat officers and can bring down violent-crime numbers in the city. 

The Chicago police board announced Friday it picked McCarthy among three top finalists for the job. The other two on the list are from Chicago: Chief of Patrol Eugene Williams and Debra Kirby, deputy superintendent overseeing the Bureau of Professional Standards.

Some officers haven't been shy about their preferences for an insider to lead the department. McCarthy, an "outsider" who the Sun-Times points out holds a civilian position in Newark, says he wants to try and become one. 

He claims he doesn't yet "have the right" to wear a Chicago police uniform and, if Emanuel picks him, he'll get certified as an Illinois law enforcement officer before putting one on.

That frame of mind might help sway Emanuel. Sources close to the mayor-elect's own superintendent search told the Sun-Times McCarthy is "head-and-shoulders" over his competition.

Emanuel's office told NBC Chicago there's "no timeline" as to when a final announcement will be made, but many expect the appointment to come next week.   

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