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  EN LA VIDA

Former Town Hall Head Up for Top Cop
2003-10-01

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Controversy is already surrounding the selection of Chicago's next Chief of Police, with some activists questioning why an African-American candidate is not among the final three presented to Mayor Daley by the police board. There were two Blacks among the top 10, but one considered a favorite dropped out.

Meanwhile, former 23rd District Town Hall Commander Joseph DeLopez, chief of police in suburban Winnetka, is among the three names submitted to Daley. Acting Supt. Phil Cline is considered the frontrunner. Both he and Garry McCarthy are white, DeLopez is Latino.

Community activists who worked with DeLopez when he was stationed in the heart of Boystown at Addison and Halsted say he was good for the community, and would also be good to lead the city.

DeLopez established what is believed to be the city's first district-based Gay and Lesbian Advisory Council, and he frequently attended their meetings, said David Boyer of the Cellblock bar. Boyer was active in neighborhood police activism when DeLopez commanded the 23rd, and said he is 'wonderful ... he should get picked.'

Longtime Lakeview activist Renae Ogletree also sang DeLopez's praises, at the same time she questioned why the police board could not find even one African-American to make the final cut.

'The Gay and Lesbian Advisory Council was started under DeLopez,' she said. 'He listened to us on issues such as the Belmont Rocks. He was responsive, and he has been good to our community. I am pro-DeLopez.'


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