CHICAGO — David Brown has officially been sworn in as Chicago’s new police superintendent.
Brown’s appointment as the 63rd superintendent was unanimously approved by City Council during a Wednesday meeting and, just hours later, he was sworn in by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The mayor picked Brown, former Dallas police chief, earlier this month, and he’s served as acting superintendent for several days already.
Brown, standing by his wife and daughter, said he was humbled. He plans to tour the city’s neighborhoods and start interacting with residents as soon as is safe due to the pandemic, he said.
“The last four days as acting superintendent, I’ve talked to the command staff about moonshot goals, reminding them of how this country raced against the Russians to be the first to land on the moon,” Brown said at a press conference. “Anyone can do average. Chicagoans deserve a moonshot: The lowest murders on record, the lowest numbers of shootings on record and the highest levels of trust in its officers from its residents.”
Brown previously led the Dallas department during the 2016 shooting that killed five officers and wounded nine officers and two civilians.
“This represents a tremendous moment in our city, particularly for those communities that have been plagued with generations of gun violence and distrust of our police,” Lightfoot said. “In David Brown, we are not only getting a public servant of the highest order — and we are. We are also getting a man whose values and own lived experience make him ideally suited for the longterm challenges we are working to solve.”
Under Brown’s watch, Dallas crime fell to 50-year lows as he led the department through “wholesale reform,” Lightfoot previously said. As chief, Brown reduced the use of force and equipped officers with body cameras, increasing transparency, according to the New York Times.
Brown, who has also served as an assistant city manager, is a leader who has experienced “triumph and tragedy” — at times in the same moments, he said. In 2010, Brown’s son, David Brown Jr., shot and killed a police officer and a young father before he was gunned down. In 1991, Brown’s brother, Kelvin Brown, was killed by drug dealers.
The Dallas native has been a police officer for four decades.
Brown took over from Charlie Beck, who had been serving as interim superintendent after former Supt. Eddie Johnson was fired amid scandal.
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