Chicago's ex-top cop defends legacy, looks ahead to new job in Chicago

July 6, 2011

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Chicago's former police superintendent says he's staying in the city in order to continue fighting crime, but he'll be making a lot less money for it.

Jody Weis is now the new deputy director of the Chicago Crime Commission. He'll be a high-profile leader for the non-profit advocacy group. But he'll be earning significantly less money than the $300,000 annual salary he pulled in as the head of the Chicago Police Department.

In fact, Weis says he almost took another job at a security consulting firm in New York.

"[I was] very, very, very close to leaving" Chicago, Weis said Wednesday at a press conference officially announcing his new post. "In some ways, they could say fate intervened."

Weis said he'll now focus on pushing legislation in Springfield that would create a DNA database of convicts, and he said he'll help Chicago get security ready for next year's NATO and G8 summits.

But Weis, a former FBI agent who was often criticized by some members of the Chicago police union, also took time to defend his legacy.

"So when people say, 'Well, the guy's backed off working,' I could say, well, okay, we cut down the lawsuits [against the department] but we also cut down crime to unprecedented levels in 2010 - 45-year low in homicides."

Weis added that the department is now in good hands with its new superintendent, Garry McCarthy, who formerly served as head of police in Newark, N.J.