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Chicago's Top Cop Departs, Former Supt. Takes Interim Job

March 02, 2011  | 

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis ended his turbulent run as the city's top cop, leaving Tuesday after the city's new mayor indicated he would replace him.

Weis resigned a day before the end of his contract; he took over leadership of the department in 2008 as a former FBI agent and Florida native who improved the agency's image yet strained relationships with rank-and-file officers.

Former Superindendent Terry Hillard, who led the department from 1998 to 2003, took over Wednesday as an interim superintendent. Hillard has taken a leave of absence from his role at a security consulting firm, and offered faint praise for Weis in an interview with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed.

"There has been some success with numbers, but statistics aren't what the job is all about," Hillard told Sneed. "The Office of Patrol has been decimated ... depleted. They [Weis' administration] took all the good cops and put them in special sections and units. That's not right … Every unit in the police department is a support unit of the patrol department."

Weis' fate was sealed with the election last week of Rahm Emanuel as mayor. President Obama's former chief-of-staff has said he will pick a new superintendent after taking office on May 16.

Mayor Daley brought Weis in early in 2008 amid headlines of rogue officers committing robberies and home invasions and Officer Anthony Abbate's videotaped beating of a female bartender while off duty, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Under Weis' leadership during the past two years, murders fell even as staffing declined sharply. In 2010, Chicago recorded the fewest homicides since 1965. At the same time, six police officers were killed.


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