Larry Snelling is the new Chicago police superintendent. During a special meeting on Wednesday, the Chicago City Council unanimously confirmed him as the city’s top cop.
The City Council vote was 48-0. Two aldermen were absent.
“I’m grateful for the City Council’s confirmation of Superintendent Larry Snelling today, marking a step forward in our journey to create a better, stronger, safer Chicago,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson in a statement. “Superintendent Snelling is a proven leader who has the experience and the respect of his peers to help ensure the safety and well-being of all city residents and address the complex challenges we all face related to community safety.”
Though Snelling’s confirmation as the city’s 64th police superintendent was expected, his appointment marks the first time the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability nominated a superintendent.
Earlier this year, the Commission conducted a nationwide search to find the next superintendent, a seat held by Fred Waller on an interim basis.
Out of 54 applicants, the Commission brought forth three finalists for Mayor Johnson’s consideration: Snelling, CPD Chief of Constitutional Policing and Reform Angel Novalez and Madison, Wisconsin Chief of Police Shon Barnes.
Johnson eventually selected Snelling, who has over three decades of experience with CPD and has ties to Chicago, having been raised on the South Side and graduating from Englewood High School. He also has a bachelor’s in adult education from DePaul University.
Snelling started as a patrol officer in his home community of Englewood and was eventually promoted to sergeant. He served in the 22nd District in Morgan Park. Snelling also contributed to the Physical Skills and Operations sections for recruit training at the Police Academy.
He returned to Englewood’s 7th District as watch operations lieutenant. Still, he advanced to Area 2’s commander and deputy chief and eventually Chief of the Bureau of Counterterrorism before being nominated superintendent.
Snelling appears to share the same vision for criminal justice and public safety as Mayor Johnson, emphasizing the use of the full force of government to get at the root causes of violence.
His approach to public safety and criminal justice is crucial because Chicago is grappling with violent crime, and the recent reports of robberies around the city have only exacerbated safety concerns.
“I am confident that by working collaboratively with our new superintendent and all vested stakeholders inside government and beyond, we can develop and implement comprehensive strategies that address the unique needs of each community and improve public safety throughout our great city,” said Johnson.
Snelling’s other priorities include officer wellness and training, the needs of the victims of violent crime and community feedback.
“It is a tremendous honor to answer the call to serve my hometown and the people of Chicago as Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, and I thank the City Council for the overwhelming support,” said Superintendent Larry Snelling. “In order to continue to make progress as a department, we must embrace innovation and partnership, continue to strengthen morale and go further in strengthening bonds of trust between police and community.
Snelling added, “We will do this in collaboration with Mayor Johnson and the full force of government. I promise to work with and on behalf of every community to strengthen safety and build a stronger city for the people of Chicago.”