Police superintendent nominee hints at plan for allocating cops

Updated 23 September 2023

The prospective head of Chicago police has hinted at where and how he'd allocate and deploy cops—a staffing practice that the department has previously kept secret.

On August 13, Mayor Brandon Johnson chose Chicago Police Dept. (CPD) Chief of the Bureau of Counterterrorism Larry Snelling as his nominee for CPD superintendent. Johnson's pick was approved unanimously on Sept. 22 by the City Council's Committee on Police and Fire. It next must be voted on by the full council.

Meanwhile, the city's Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) has embarked on a series of public meetings to let Chicago residents question Snelling.

At the first of these meetings, held on Sept. 7, CCPSA Commissioner Yvette Loizon asked Snelling what he'd do to improve the rate at which CPD solves crimes.

In his reply, Snelling said, "What I'm going to be looking to do is: Every area deputy chief will now have the autonomy to look at their officers, look at their workforce and their manpower, and start putting those officers in the place that are absolutely necessary for those officers to combat crime."

Snelling apparently was referring to the police bosses who head the five CPD patrol areas, each of which oversees a portion of the department's detective force and its 22 police districts.

Snelling was perhaps signaling that he has a detailed plan for how to allocate police officers citywide.

If so, and Snelling becomes the top cop, it remains to be seen whether he'll make his plan public—as, till now, where and how many officers CPD deploys has not been publicly disclosed.

An audio recording (length 5.1 minutes) of Snelling and Loizon's exchange appears below:

Available only to subscribers. Subscribe here for unlimited access. Subscribers: log in.