After extending the time period to apply for the post of Chicago police superintendent because of a low number of applicants, the Police Board accepted five more applications yesterday by the new deadline, bringing to 23 the total vying to replace retiring Supt. Terry Hillard.
Police Board Chairman Demetrius Carney described the list as a “coast to coast” pool. Despite the deadline extension, the number of candidates fell short of the more than 40 who applied in 1998, when Hillard was appointed.
Mayor Richard Daley had originally hoped to have a replacement for Hillard by Aug. 15, the 59-year-old top cop’s last day on the job. That hope ended with the deadline extension two weeks ago. Carney hopes to recommend three finalists to Daley by the end of the first week of September. A California-based consultant is managing the application project and will “turn over every rock” in the applicants’ backgrounds to “make sure they’re upstanding citizens,” Carney said.
Speculating about who will be superintendent has been a popular pastime in the department and City Hall since the popular Hillard announced his retirement in May. Recently appointed First Deputy Supt. Phil Cline, the second in command, is likely to act as interim superintendent after Hillard’s departure. Some in the department believe he is a likely choice for the job.