Superintendent hearing | Igor Studenkov

Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) will be holding a town hall in Austin on April 11 at 6 p.m., to give West Siders a chance to share what they want to see in a new police superintendent.

The town hall will be held at the Kehrein Center for the Arts, 5628 W. Washington Blvd., and it will be open to everyone, including local police officers. The commission is planning to hold several town halls in other parts of Chicago and online, but this is the first town hall where the locations have been set. During the commission’s March 30  meeting, held at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave., commission president Anthony Driver said they want to avoid presentation-style meetings and give residents a chance to talk, with commission members guiding the discussion and asking follow-up questions.

As part of the police reform package approved in July 2022, the newly formed CCPSA took over the Chicago Police Board’s responsibility for selecting police superintendent candidates. Whoever is elected mayor will choose one of the candidates from the commission’s list, and the Chicago City Council will confirm his choice. Unlike the Police Board, CCPSA can request the superintendent’s firing – something the mayor and the city council will be legally required to consider. 

On March 1, one day after the Chicago mayoral election went into the runoff and it became clear that current mayor Lori Lightfoot would not make it to the runoff,  Supt. David Brown announced he would resign effective March 16. Both run-off candidates – former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson (1st) said they would hire from within the department, but CCPSA indicated that it was keeping its options open.

CCPSA is planning four community meetings – one online, one on the West Side, one on the South Side and one on the North Side. As of March 30, the commission hasn’t secured the location for the latter two meetings. Driver said they are also putting together a meeting specifically for police officers, since it would make sense for them to weigh in on what their new boss should be like.

Driver said, for the community meetings, the commission wants to hear from residents about “what qualities you’re looking for in a superintendent” and “what issues you would like to raise.”

“My promise to you all is that your input is valuable,” he said. “We’re all coming into this with an open mind.”

Driver also said that CCPSA would be transparent about the application process timeline and how many candidates are being considered – though they wouldn’t disclose their identities before officially sending recommendations to the mayor. 

“We want this to be the most transparent process that the city has ever seen,” he said, adding that they hope to set the standard for future commissions. 

Once the commission completes the meetings, Driver said, they will hire a search firm to help them with the process.

“A firm that is community-driven, community focused, and [know] how to engage the public,” he said.

For more information about the superintendent search process, visit

Igor Studenkov

Igor Studenkov is a winner of multiple Illinois Press Association awards for local government and business reporting. He has been contributing to Austin Weekly News since 2015. His work has also appeared...