On Dec. 13, Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John J. Escalante announced new staff promotions and leadership assignments, moves that are part of an organizational realignment of the department following the Nov. 24 release of the Laquan McDonald shooting footage.
The video would eventually set-off a chain reaction leading to the abrupt dismissal of former CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy and near-daily protests calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s ouster.
As part of the realignment, CPD’s gang enforcement teams will operate under three Police Service Areas, instead of under one centralized unit. Escalante also announced new senior command promotions and its first recruitment campaign in two years. The CPD has focused the campaign on a push for more minority hires.
Among promotions, longtime West Side staple Barbara West — a 21-year CPD veteran who served as commander of the 15th District before being reassigned to the 11th District in January — was promoted to deputy chief. She’ll be responsible for administering the department’s patrol bureau.
Deputy Chief James Jones, the former commander of the 3rd and 20th Districts, will replace West as commander of the 11th District, which covers a large swath of the West Side north of Roosevelt to as far as Division and east of Cicero to as far as Western.