Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson Taps Fred Waller as CPD’s Interim Supt.

On Wednesday, Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson officially named Fred Waller as the interim Supt. of the Chicago Police Department.

Waller will assume office on May 15, taking over for Eric Carter, who initially replaced David Brown. Brown resigned from the post in March.

“My mission, along with Mayor-elect Johnson, is public safety, keeping people in the city of Chicago safe,” said Waller, who was officially introduced at a press conference on Wednesday.

In introducing Waller, a former CPD police chief, Johnson spoke to his appointee’s credentials and qualifications.

“Chief Waller has dedicated his career to serving the people of the city of Chicago at virtually every level of the department, from patrol officer to third in command,” Johnson said.

Waller will serve as interim superintendent until a permanent replacement is found.

Still, Waller’s appointment was one of Johnson’s most important moves as he assumes office on May 15.

In the months and weeks leading up to his eventual victory in the April 4 runoff election, Johnson’s public safety and police reform approach has been and will continue to be heavily scrutinized. It’s a platform that opts for reinvestment in youth programs and communities and increased police accountability.

Johnson contends that public safety is the primary goal.

“Throughout my campaign for mayor and many conversations I’ve had with Chicagoans, public safety was and remains a top priority,” said Johnson.

“And during such a crucial time, I have been committed to finding someone to lead the Chicago Police Department with caring, collaborative, compassionate, competent in their approach to supporting the people of Chicago,” he added.

Waller’s appointment does not come without controversy. During the press conference, Waller addressed a question about a suspension he served shortly before his retirement for a comment he made about rape during a meeting at CPD headquarters.

Waller admitted that what he said “was the wrong choice of words.”

“It was an attempt to emphasize how much resources were being taken from patrol, and it was just inappropriate the way I phrased it. It was taken out of context.”

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