'General' McCarthy prepares for his next battle

May 23, 2012

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The NATO summit is over and the reviews are in—Superintendent Garry McCarthy has received high praise for his on-the-ground leadership and the newfound culture of calm amongst the rank and file. His predecessor, Jody Weis, was criticized by members of the force for being an outsider; many worried that McCarthy, who spent 25 years with the New York City Police Department, would maintain a similar divide. But there was no such fissure on Sunday as protesters employing Black Bloc tactics clashed with police at Michigan and Cermak. Perched atop the conflict’s apex, like a general, Supt. McCarthy directed officers.

“You lead from the front. You can’t lead from behind," McCarthy later explained. "I’m not asking my cops to do anything I wasn’t going to do. We knew this was coming. I was going to be in the middle of it. I just had my helmet in the truck and never had a chance to get it. Oh, well. I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” McCarthy said.

The superintendent’s hands-on leadership did not silence all of his critics—certainly not the protesters. But it did  subdue one of his most consistent censurers, the Second City Cop. On Monday, the blogger paused from his typical terse talk to give the superintendent props:

We'll give the guy his props. He was out at the parade from all the reports in the news and in our comment sections.

He didn't pull a "J-Fled" like Weis did.

Nicely done Superintendent.

After months of planning and a weekend full of marathon shifts, the superintendent and his force are likely looking forward to a break—too bad it’s summer. The rising temperatures are often met with a spike in crime. And while crime, overall, is down in Chicago, the homicide rate is already up more than 50 percent over the same time period last year.

Coming off a big weekend win, Supt. McCarthy joined Steve Edwards on the Afternoon Shift for a look at the newly-minted “general’s” next big battle.