New top cop takes office: 'Let's get to work'

June 9, 2011

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(AP/Paul Beaty)

Chicago's City Council officially confirmed Garry McCarthy as the new police superintendent on Wednesday.

McCarthy comes to Chicago from Newark, New Jersey, where he headed up the police department there. In a sign of the high crime-fighting expectations that have been laid before him, McCarthy will make $260,004 a year - more than any other city employee, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

If the brevity of McCarthy's remarks about his confirmation are any indicator, the newly-minted chief has a lot on his mind.

"I gotta tell you, it's just awesome and humbling," McCarthy told reporters after Wednesday's City Council meeting. "Having said that, let's get to work."

He went on to field reporters' questions about everything from a recent string of robberies to racial profiling. Chicago aldermen, meanwhile, seemed more focussed on that fact that McCarthy actually has credibility with rank-and-file officers, thanks to his time policing the streets of his native New York City.

"They welcome Garry McCarthy, 'cause they know that he's the kind of a law enforcement officer who's taken his cuffs off his belt," said powerful 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke, himself a former Chicago cop.

McCarthy replaces Jody Weis, who left the Chicago Police Department when his contract expired in March. Weis had faced criticism from the Chicago police union for being an outsider, as he was previously an FBI agent, but never a cop. McCarthy will make just over 260-thousand dollars a year.

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