Mayor Johnson Names Chief Larry Snelling as Next Police Superintendent

Mayor Brandon Johnson has selected Larry Snelling, Chief of the Bureau of Counterterrorism, to serve as the next Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

Snelling’s selection comes after an exhaustive, months-long nationwide search process conducted by the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability. Mayor Johnson is set to introduce Chief Snelling at a press conference Monday morning at City Hall.

“Today, a new chapter begins in our journey to create a better, stronger and safer Chicago as Chief Larry Snelling has been charged to lead the Chicago Police Department,”Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “Chief Snelling is a proven leader who has the experience and the respect of his peers to help ensure the safety and well-being of city residents and address the complex challenges we all face related to community safety.”

The Chicago City Council still must approve Snelling’s appointment via a hearing and vote. Before that, the Community Commission for Public Accountability will conduct a separate public hearing, during which Snelling will be required to respond to inquiries from both the commission and the public.

Chief Snelling was raised on the South Side of Chicago and is a product of Chicago Public Schools. He graduated from Englewood High School and holds a bachelor’s in adult education from DePaul University.

Snelling joined CPD in 1992 as a patrol officer in Englewood, his home community.

“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,” Chief Snelling said in a statement. “It is also a tremendous responsibility and one that I do not take lightly.”

“While I am humbled by this moment, I stand ready to lead and uphold Mayor Johnson’s ‘three Cs’ of competence, compassion and collaboration, and keep that vision at the forefront in addressing safety on every street, every block and in every neighborhood,” he said.

Snelling’s appointment garnered positive feedback on Sunday when his selection went public.

“Larry Snelling is a strong choice to head the Chicago Police Department,” Attorney General Kwame Raoul said, in part, in a statement. “He has decades of experience with the department and is well-versed in training officers on the use of force and 21st-century policing.”

Chief Snelling began as a patrol officer in the 7th (Englewood) District, progressing to sergeant and serving in the 22nd (Morgan Park) District and contributing to the Physical Skills and Operations sections for recruit training at the Police Academy. Subsequently, he returned to the 7th District, initially as watch operations lieutenant, and later advanced to commander and deputy chief of Area 2.

Chief Snelling spearheaded a comprehensive overhaul of the Department’s force training model, aligning it with national best practices and constitutional policing standards. His expertise extended to serving as an expert witness in federal use of force cases, alongside his significant role as a lead trainer for field force training during the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit.

Chief Snelling was promoted to chief of the Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism in 2022. In this role, he coordinated with the Office of Emergency Management and Communication and various city agencies and local, county, state, and federal emergency responders to respond to city emergencies.

In late July, the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability recommended Chief Snelling, CPD Chief of Constitutional Policing and Reform Angel Novalez and Madison, Wisconsin Chief of Police Shon Barnes as finalists for Mayor Johnson’s consideration.

The finalists were asked to share implementation plans for the consent decree, approaches to violence reduction and community collaboration and address several other areas related to community safety.

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