Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson Contemplates Retiring | WBEZ
Skip to main content


Top Cop Contemplates Retiring, Insists He’s Not Worried About Probe Into Driving Incident

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson on Monday afternoon pointed to health troubles during his nearly four years as top cop and said he is thinking about retiring.

But Johnson insisted he is “not concerned" about an investigation by the city inspector general’s office, which is looking into an Oct. 17 incident in which Chicago officers found the superintendent sleeping in his car. The officers let him drive home without a field sobriety test. Johnson later told Mayor Lori Lightfoot he had been drinking alcohol before the incident.

Johnson made his comments about retiring in the City Council’s chambers during a break from the Police Department’s annual budget hearing.

“I have given 31 years now to this city and almost four as superintendent, but I recognize also that, at some point, it’s time to create a different chapter in your life,” Johnson said.

Johnson said a recent trip to London to see a Bears game was his first vacation since he became superintendent.

“I looked at my family and it made me realize how much of a sacrifice you make for your family when you take on positions like this,” Johnson said, adding he had been “toying” with retirement for awhile.

At the hearing, one alderman after another praised Johnson for Chicago’s drop in crime since he took the Police Department’s helm in March 2016. At the time, the Police Department faced an historic gun violence surge and a crisis in its community relations following the city’s court-ordered release of a dashcam video showing teenager Laquan McDonald’s fatal shooting by Officer Jason Van Dyke.

The driving incident followed months of speculation that Lightfoot might dump Johnson as superintendent.

Check back for updates on this developing story. Chip Mitchell reports out of WBEZ’s West Side studio about policing. Follow him at @ChipMitchell1.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.