Press Releases Banner with image of Mayor Emanuel
May 16, 2011

Mayor-elect Emanuel Announces Public Safety Team

Previsouly posted on May 2, 2011

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel today named Chicago's next public safety team. These strong, innovative and experienced leaders bring top talent to the city and believe that teamwork is critical to their collective mission: to serve and protect the people of Chicago.

Garry McCarthy will serve a Chicago's next Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department and Robert Hoff will continue to lead the Chicago Fire Department as Commissioner. Gary Schenkel will head the Office of Emergency Management & Communications, and Felicia Davis will join the Mayor-elect in City Hall as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety.

"Each leader knows that Chicago's public safety depends first and foremost on Chicago's beat officers, firefighters, paramedics and dispatchers - the backbone of their departments and the bedrock of our city," said Emanuel. "Though the road ahead will not be easy and the results will not come as quickly as we need them to, I and this team, will not rest until all Chicagoans can learn, work, and raise their families in safety and peace."

Public Safety Leadership Team

Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Department Superintendent

Garry McCarthy is currently the Police Director of the Newark Police Department, where his aggressive approach to crime reduction delivered stunning results. In 2008, he led the nation in murder reduction with a 32% decrease. During his tenure, Newark saw a 23% reduction in civilian complaints against the Department. He authored Newark's Gun Violence Reduction Strategy and Narcotics Strategy. McCarthy is a 2nd-generation law enforcement officer with 30 years of experience in policing. He began his career with the New York City Police Department, where he rose from patrolman to Deputy Commissioner of Operations. As Deputy Commissioner, McCarthy served as the principal crime reduction strategist for the entire Department. In 2001, McCarthy played an integral role in the immediate response, recovery and rebuilding efforts following the September 11 terrorist attacks. He also oversaw the city's CompStat program and implemented innovative new crime-fighting strategies, achieving progressive reductions in the number of murders in New York City during every year of his tenure.

Robert Hoff, Chicago Fire Department Commissioner

Robert Hoff is currently the Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department (CFD). Hoff is a 3rd-generation firefighter with more than 30 years of experience. He began his career at CFD as an Emergency Medical Technician and was promoted through the ranks to serve as Director of Training/District Chief and 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner before being appointed Commissioner in June 2010. He has won the Department's highest award for bravery, the Carter Harrison Award, twice during his career. When two Chicago firefighters lost their lives in December 2010 when a building collapsed on 75th Street, Hoff was among the first responders to arrive on the scene to search for them in the rubble. Hoff also served as Incident Commander for CFD's deployment to New York immediately after 9/11 and to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Gary Schenkel, Office of Emergency Management & Communications Director

Gary Schenkel currently serves the US Department of Homeland Security as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of State and Local Law Enforcement. He is a 29-year veteran of the US Marine Corps, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2000. Schenkel served the Chicago Police Department under Terry Hillard, as Assistant Deputy Superintendent. During his tenure, he oversaw the force's education and training division. In 2004, Schenkel joined the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as an Assistant Federal Security Director. There, he worked to ensure the highest levels of security at Midway Airport while maintaining efficient and quality service. Schenkel also oversaw strategic planning and business management of TSA operations and promoted effective partnerships with government and private sector partners.

Felicia Davis, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety

Felicia Davis served the Chicago Police Department for 10 years as a police officer, detective, and CAPS instructor. As an officer, Felicia won awards for her performance and demonstrated exceptional bravery under fire. As a detective, Davis served in the Violent Crimes section and was responsible for coordinating the Detective Divisions Community Policing Strategies as Area Information Coordinator. She is currently the Vice President of Administration at Kendall College, where she oversees the College's operations and administration.