Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard is chipping away at the legacy of predecessor Jody Weis by changing the department's command structure and preparing to move cops to the patrol division from specialized units, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Hillard is considering moving 100 officers from the department's 260-officer Mobile Strike Force back to the patrol division. He is also looking to move officers from other special citywide units to patrol.
That would be a big step toward Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's campaign pledge to put 1,000 beat officers on the street. Mark Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he was all for the changes after a two-year hiring slowdown that has left the police department 2,300 officers a day short of authorized strength. Hillard, 67, was appointed three weeks ago as a temporary replacement for Weis, whose $310,000-a-year contract expired. Hillard, the superintendent from 1998 to 2003, will stay on until Emanuel hires a permanent top cop. Emanuel takes office May 16.