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Chicago City Council confirms Larry Snelling as new CPD superintendent

New Chicago police superintendent receives unanimous approval from City Council
New Chicago police superintendent receives unanimous approval from City Council 02:26

CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago City Council voted unanimously to confirm Chief Larry Snelling as the new superintendent of the Chicago Police Department on Wednesday afternoon.

The final vote was 48-0. Only Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th) and Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) were not present to vote.

Snelling then took the oath of office and was officially sworn in as superintendent. In remarks after being sworn in, he called for unity in tackling the city's interminable problem of violence.

"We have to find a way to stop this," he said. "The only way we're going to get that done is to work together, work as a team. We can have our differences. We can agree to disagree, but what we have to agree upon is that we need each other. We need everybody."

He also emphasized that while arresting perpetrators of crimes is important, he said it's "always better" if you can prevent crime.

In a press conference after the meeting, Snelling said he would prioritize using technology to solve cases and improving officers' mental health and wellbeing. He was also asked multiple times about his thoughts on judging officers' actions in the line of duty and holding them accountable for misconduct.

Chicago City Council confirms Larry Snelling as new CPD superintendent 02:20

"If they're wrong, I'm going to call them wrong," he told the City Council. "But we need fairness. We need them judged fairly."

He was also asked about what level of compliance with a federal consent decree he'd like to see CPD meet in the next year. While Snelling declined to give a specific answer, he said he'd "like to see a significant increase between this year and next year."

Snelling joined CPD in 1992 as a patrol officer in Englewood and then worked as a sergeant in Morgan Park. He most recently served as CPD's Counterterrorism Chief. He was raised on the South Side and graduated from Englewood High School and holds a bachelor's degree in adult education from DePaul University.

After a nationwide search and input from the community and a civilian board, Mayor Brandon Johnson recommended him as Chicago's next police superintendent.

Several council members praised and voiced support for Snelling in comments before the vote.

"You're a man of integrity. I've always appreciated your no-nonsense style. You don't put up with any BS," said Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th).

In a statement, Mayor Brandon Johnson said, "Superintendent Snelling is a proven leader who has the experience and the respect of his peers to help ensure the safety and well-being of all city residents, and address the complex challenges we all face related to community safety."

Snelling takes over the top job from Fred Waller, who had served as interim superintendent since May. Many City Council members praised Waller for his job leading the department for more than four months.

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