Following exhaustive selection process, Chief of CPD Bureau of Counterterrorism Larry Snelling to serve as new superintendent, pending Chicago City Council Confirmation  

CHICAGO – Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced Chief of the Bureau of Counterterrorism Larry Snelling will serve as Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The announcement comes after a months-long, deliberative search and process led by the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.  

Chief Snelling will be formally introduced by Mayor Johnson at a press conference tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at City Hall.   

“Today, a new chapter begins in our journey to create a better, stronger and safer Chicago as Chief Larry Snelling has been charged to lead the Chicago Police Department,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Chief Snelling is a proven leader who has the experience and the respect of his peers to help ensure the safety and well-being of city residents, and address the complex challenges we all face related to community safety.”  

“I am confident that by working collaboratively with the superintendent and all vested stakeholders inside government and beyond, we can develop and implement comprehensive strategies that address the unique needs of each community and improve public safety throughout our city.”  

Chief Snelling was raised on the South Side of Chicago. He is a product of Chicago Public Schools, graduating from Englewood High School, and holds a bachelor’s degree in adult education from DePaul University.   

He joined CPD in 1992 as a patrol officer in his home community of Englewood. This type of community-based policing experience remained core to his values and his experience as he ascended through the department.  

“It is a tremendous honor to answer the call to serve my hometown and the people of Chicago as superintendent of the Chicago Police Department,” said Chief Larry Snelling. “It is also a tremendous responsibility, and one that I do not take lightly.”  

“In order to continue to make progress as a department, we must embrace innovation, continue to strengthen morale, and go further in strengthening bonds of trust between police and community,” Snelling said. “While I am humbled by this moment, I stand ready to lead and uphold Mayor Johnson’s ‘three Cs’ of competence, compassion and collaboration, and keep that vision at the forefront in addressing safety on every street, every block and in every neighborhood,” Chief Snelling said.     

After serving as a patrol officer in the 7th (Englewood) District, Chief Snelling was promoted to sergeant, serving in the 22th (Morgan Park) District and Physical Skills and Operations sections for recruit training at the Police Academy. He returned to the 7th District as watch operations lieutenant before being promoted to commander, and later, deputy chief of Area 2.  

Chief Snelling redesigned the Department’s current force training model around national best practices and constitutional policing and has testified as an expert in federal use of force cases. Additionally, he was a lead trainer for field force training for the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit.  

In 2022, Chief Snelling was promoted to chief of the Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, which coordinates with the Office of Emergency Management and Communication and other city agencies, as well as other local, county, state and federal emergency responders, to respond to city emergencies.   

The selection of Chief Snelling was part of a nationwide search for the next superintendent of the Chicago Police Department led by the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability. On July 27, 2023, the Commission nominated Chief Snelling, Madison, Wisconsin Chief of Police Shon Barnes and CPD Chief of Constitutional Policing and Reform Angel Novalez to Mayor Johnson for consideration.  

Mayor Johnson held extensive meetings and field interviews to understand each of the candidates’ goals and priorities, and their vision for the Department. Finalists for the position were asked to share implementation plans for the consent decree, approaches to violence reduction and community collaboration, along with several other areas related to community safety.  

“I’d like to thank President Anthony Driver and the Commission for Public Safety and Accountability for their thoughtful and diligent work throughout this entire process, and to every applicant who put themselves forward to serve our great city,” Mayor Johnson said. “And I want to give special thanks to Chief Barnes and Chief Novalez, exceptional officers who I was honored to meet and engage with around their views on policing and public safety.”  

The mayor’s selection for superintendent is now subject to City Council approval. 

More from FEATURE