Commander named to 16th District police post


Captain William Looney has been named the new commander of 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District, replacing Roger Bay.

Bay, who became the district’s commander in April of 2014, has been appointed commander of Area North, which oversees nine of the city’s 22 police districts. A Northwest Side resident, Bay encouraged officers to leave their squad car and mingle with residents at a block party or a neighborhood festival.

Looney had been serving as the executive officer of the 19th (Town Hall) Police District, which includes the Lakeview area.

The changes were part of a series of command promotions and leadership assignments that Chicago Police Department interim superintendent John Escalante announced on Dec. 14. In addition, the city’s gang enforcement teams are being organized into three service areas, rather than having one centralized unit.

Another former 16th District commander, Dave McNaughton, was named deputy chief of the Bureau of Support Services, where he will assist with administrative oversight of the agency, and former 17th (Albany Park) District commander Melissa Staples has been named deputy chief of Area North.

Escalante said that the recent changes mean that half of the city’s police chiefs and deputy chiefs are African American and that more women are serving in executive roles. A dozen command promotions and leadership assignments were announced.

"These men and women represent the very best of the Chicago Police Department, and I know they will continue to serve our city and our residents with honor," Escalante said. Some leadership changes in the department were expected after the firing of former superintendent Gary McCarthy and the release of a video showing a Chicago police officer shooting Laquan McDonald.