Former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck has come out of retirement, temporarily, to serve the city of Chicago as its Interim Police Superintendent. Mayor Lori Lightfoot made the decision when former Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson tendered his resignation back in December.
A couple of weeks ago, Beck outlined his ambitions for the Chicago Police Department where he reluctantly revealed that there is a code of silence within the department although the “vast majority” of the officers don’t participate.
Beck condemns the approach of “stop and frisk” which entails the random searching of residents which leads to a break down of trust between the community and the department. He was particularly vocal of his satisfaction of his time serving under former LAPD Chief Darryl Gates who implemented “Operation Hammer” which he called stop-and-frisk “at a rate beyond belief”.
Beck directly attributed the ’92 riots to Gates’ breakdown of trust in the community.
Beck also expressed concern over the recent legalization of marijuana in the Windy City likening it to issues here in Los Angeles.
“The price is far too high for an agricultural crop and that payment has to be made in cash. If you were to ask me what would make this change in social norms safer, I would say a way for people to pay … through debit or credit cards. In Los Angeles, I would guarantee every year after legalization that we would have at least two homicides in cannabis facilities due to armed robbery. … That’s where the money is.”Interim Chicago PD Superintendent Charlie Beck
Beck wants to dramatically increase the number of “street outreach workers” which would resemble a gang intervention program in Los Angeles. Stating street outreach workers have ties throughout the community and can address gang and gun violence in a way that no police officer can.
His overall theme centers around rebuilding the communities trust in their police department.
He also indicated he will not stay in this position permanently.