12/07/2007

Chicago's new top cop may have to go to academy

By Fran Spielman
The Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO Chicago's new $310,000-a-year police superintendent might have to take a test or go back to school if he wants to wear the uniform of the men and women in blue, as an influential alderman says he should.

Jody Weis is a career FBI agent trained at Quantico and authorized to carry a gun. But he is not a Chicago cop and does not have police powers. If he's confirmed by the City Council, Weis will be only the second civilian superintendent in Chicago history.

"During the transition period, there are a number of internal processes that are being reviewed. Some relate to the unique circumstances of having a police superintendent with federal credentials and how federal status would apply to Illinois law enforcement standards," said police spokeswoman Monique Bond.

Like baseball manager in suit

Asked whether Weis was prepared to take a test or go to the Police Academy if that's what it takes to wear the uniform of the people he leads, Bond said, "That will be a decision he will make, and he'll certainly seek input from the appropriate individuals."

Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th), chairman of the City Council's Police Committee, said he'd advise Weis to do whatever it takes to gain police powers under Illinois law. To do otherwise, Carothers said, would be like a baseball manager sitting in the dugout with a suit on while his players hit the field in uniform.

Copyright 2007 Chicago Sun-Times

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