Charlie Beck, 66, who left the LAPD in June 2018 after more than 40 years with the department, will replace Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who on Thursday announced he will step down at year’s end after three years as the city’s top cop.
Johnson, 60, a Chicago native, has been with the city’s force for more than 30 years.
Beck will spend time shadowing Johnson during a transition period, and then lead the Chicago department until Mayor Lori Lightfoot names a permanent chief, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In Los Angeles, Beck served under William Bratton, a former police commissioner in New York City who received credit for a dramatic reduction in Big Apple crime before moving on to California.
Beck’s time on the LAPD coincided with major tests for law enforcement, such as the 1992 riots sparked by the acquittal of L.A. officers linked to the Rodney King beating case.
Johnson’s decision to step down came as he faces an internal investigation, after being found sleeping in his car Oct. 17. The mayor later told the Chicago Sun-Times that Johnson had had “a couple of drinks” with dinner that evening.
His appointment to the top job by former Mayor Rahm Emmanuel came wrapped in controversy because Johnson was not one of the three candidates recommended for the position by the Chicago Police Board, and Johnson hadn’t even applied for the job.
At the time, Emmanuel was dealing with fallout from the release of video footage that showed a white police officer shooting an unarmed black teenager 16 times, killing him. Officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder in October 2018 in the death of Laquan McDonald.
Lightfoot, who succeeded Emmanuel as mayor in May, is a former president of the city’s police board.
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