Chicago Police Deputy Supt. Barbara West To Retire

Chicago News USA

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Deputy Supt. Barbara West – the department’s highest-ranking woman – has announced her plans to retire.

A CPD spokesman told CBS 2’s Brad Edwards Wednesday, “We wish her the very best.”

An official announcement is expected in the coming days.

West most recently had been overseeing the Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform Management, which was tasked with monitoring changes mandated by an ongoing federal consent decree.

The department has been taken to task repeatedly for failing to meet deadlines in fulfilling the consent decree. In the first report to the monitors for the decree in November, the city had missed more than half its deadlines to implement the rules. The same was true seven months later. As of June, there were 35 deadlines met, but also 89 missed deadlines. In all, 71 percent of the deadlines were missed.

In June, West defended the department’s record in fulfilling the decree.

“So you think about how reform takes place, and reform is not going to be done overnight,” West said in June. “With what I’ve seen in terms of the deadlines being missed, you know, we did make some significant accomplishments in things that we’ve put in place CPD. We’ve hired more mental health physicians, we’ve begun to engage the community in our policy development. We’ve revised our use of force policies, which clearly prohibited choke holds, and less deadly force is used. So, we’re not doing a slow roll, but we’re doing a concerted effort working with our monitor, working with the OAG [Office of the Illinois Attorney General] and taking a thoughtful approach to how we redevelop our policies, which is the foundation of our reform efforts.”

West was also a candidate for interim police superintendent after Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired former Supt. Eddie Johnson. The position later went to Charlie Beck, who in turn was replaced on a permanent basis by Supt. David Brown.

West was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, and started her career in the Austin (15th) District, where she later became the first Black woman to be named commander.

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