Retiring Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard told his last training class of new police officers yesterday that they should listen more than talk, says the Chicago Tribune. In more than 5 leading the Chicago Police Department, Hillard flourished by taking his own advice, the Tribune says. He had a modest, easygoing demeanor, which earned him the respect of rank-and-file cops. Hillard retires today, a few days after his 60th birthday.
The Tribune says Hillard leaves “as a number of critical departmental changes are in their nascent stages in an attempt to address drug- and gang-related homicides.” Redeployment of officers to focus resources in the most violent neighborhoods has been underway a little more than a month, and new technologies such as a computerized crime analysis system and video surveillance cameras are in their first stages.
Today, he hands off the department’s leadership to First Deputy Supt. Phil Cline, who will act as interim superintendent until Mayor Richard Daley chooses a replacement, probably next month.
“The main thing about Hillard is he is just a supreme gentleman. He brought to the department this kind of integrity that is highly relevant to the moment,” said Gary Slutkin of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention.