Chicago is turning to the Police Executive Research Forum, the Washington think tank that recruited former New York Police Commissioner William Bratton for Los Angeles, to conduct a second nationwide search for Chicago’s top cop, says the Chicago Sun-Times. PERF replaces David Gomez & Associates, the Chicago firm with a $100,000 contract to conduct the round one search that ended in a do-over. Their field included only 13 outsiders among 40 applicants. PERF has searched for police chiefs in cities like Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Portland.
“If PERF is on board, it suddenly brings credibility that it’s a legitimate search,” a City Hall source told the newspaper. “The law enforcement community respects PERF. Chiefs respect PERF. If you have PERF in the equation, individuals who might not otherwise have applied will apply. You increase the chances you’re gonna get strong outside candidates.” Last week, Mayor Richard Daley stunned the law enforcement community by rejecting all three finalists recommended by the police board — insiders Charles Williams and Hiram Grau and New Yorker Thomas Belfiore — and ordering the board to start over. Chicago has had only one outsider as police superintendent: University of California at Berkeley criminologist O.W. Wilson after a 1960 scandal.