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Brown Leaving Chicago Police, Mayor Hopefuls Will Name Insider

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown is stepping down after Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s loss in Tuesday’s election. All eight of Lightfoot’s challengers had said they’d fire Brown if they won the mayor’s job, including Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson, who remain in the race, reports Politico. Lightfoot was eliminated after finishing third. Brown’s exit this month allows him to avoid any public shaming of being fired after the April 4 election. Some Lightfoot critics have said that it’s Brown’s handling of public safety that led to the failure of her reelection bid. The mayor stuck by Brown throughout his three-year tenure. On Wednesday, she praised Brown for “setting a record number of illegal gun recoveries for two consecutive years; leading a double digit reduction in violent crime in 2022; significant, consistent progress on the consent decree; standing up a full-time recruitment team that yielded over 950 new hires last year; significantly expanding the resources for officer wellness; and promoting more women ... than ever before in the history of the department.”

Vallas and Johnson both committed to hiring someone from within the Chicago Police Department. “Most important is appointing the right person for the job — someone who is collaborative, competent and compassionate,” said Johnson. Vallas continued with criticisms, saying, “Brown failed to make our city safer and his resignation is a positive step forward.” Brown, who came to Chicago by way of Dallas, got off to a bad start from day one in Chicago. He arrived just as the city was shutting down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis quickly followed. Key police officials who would have helped in managing the subsequent protests had just retired, so Brown faced challenges from the get-go. What frustrated community leaders was a reorganization effort that moved police officers from gang and drug units to neighborhood patrol divisions. The ranks were shrinking with retirements and an inability to beef up recruits during the pandemic. All the while, homicides and carjackings were on the rise.

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