Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson will announce his retirement Thursday after more than three decades on the force, the city’s police department announced.
“A true son of Chicago who grew up in public housing & went to public schools went on to become one of our most dedicated public servants. Chicago Police Supt Eddie Johnson will announce plans to retire as leader of the nation’s second largest police department,” Chicago Police Department’s chief communications officer Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter.
Johnson’s retirement comes as he is under scrutiny by the city inspector general for an incident last month in which officers found Johnson sleeping behind the wheel of his car. The veteran cop first blamed a change in blood pressure medication but later admitted to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot that he “had a couple of drinks with dinner.”
Johnson said this week that his decision to retire after 31 years on with the Chicago police is unrelated to the probe. He will continue to lead the department until the end of the year.
The Chicago native took over the department in early 2016 as homicides were skyrocketing and the city’s police force faced outrage over video footage showing an officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. During his tenure, he has focused on reforming the police department in one of the most violent U.S. cities by placing more restrictions on police force, among other reforms.
Chicago’s murder rate has declined over Johnson’s tenure, dropping 14 percent last year.
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck is the leading candidate to take over Chicago’s police force at least temporarily after Johnson steps down. Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz has also been suggested as interim police chief.