New Mayor Doesn't Want Chicago PD Protecting Her, Hires Private Security

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has hired private security for her personal protection detail instead of Chicago police.

Chicago, IL – The newly-elected mayor of Chicago has hired a private company to manage her security instead of leaving her protection detail up to the Chicago Police Department, who have always safeguarded the city’s mayor in the past.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detail will be headed by retired Deputy U.S. Marshal James Smith, a managing partner at Silver Star Protection Group, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Smith was a Cook County corrections officer before he joined the federal agency. He retired from the U.S. Marshals Service after 26 years.

The Chicago Sun Times reported that an aide to the mayor said that Lightfoot’s detail would be made up of “four or five” retired law enforcement officials from agencies other than Chicago PD.

The aide said that no Chicago police jobs were being eliminated as a result of the switch.

It was unclear how the new security detail was being paid, the Chicago Tribune reported.

When asked if there was an increased threat to the mayor, who is the city’s first black, lesbian top official, the aide told the Chicago Sun Times, “Just think about it. It’s a very dangerous time in our country.”

There has been speculation that Lightfoot would not feel safe being protected solely by the Chicago police after she co-chaired the Task Force on Police Accountability that was created in the wake of Laquan McDonald shooting in 2014.

The task force’s vicious and highly critical report on the Chicago police was released before the U.S. Department of Justice went after the department for a “pattern and practice” of police civil-rights violations, the Chicago Sun Times reported.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) was very unhappy with the new mayor’s decision to switch up the way her security detail has traditionally been handled.

“For as long as anyone can remember, Chicago Police have provided the security for the Mayor of this City. They have done an outstanding job, no matter who was the Mayor,” FOP President Kevin Graham told the Chicago Sun Times in an email.

“Those jobs are done by Chicago Police Officers and we at the FOP intend to keep it that way,” Graham said.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson refused to comment on the new mayor’s security decisions, the Chicago Sun Times reported.

“We don’t really comment on executive protection, but at the end of the day the mayor has to be comfortable with her detail,” Superintendent Johnson said. “This is her police department now.”

The superintendent said he does not believe Lightfoot’s decision reflected a lack of confidence in the Chicago police force.

Other critics have expressed concern that the man Lightfoot chose to run her security is married to a corporate lobbyist with clients who have interests in the city.

Smith’s wife is Margaret Houlihan-Smith, who was formerly the managing director of corporate and government affairs for United.

City records indicated that Houlihan-Smith now lobbies Chicago on behalf of United and AT&T, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The mayor’s spokeswoman, Anel Ruiz, confirmed that Smith was heading up security for Lightfoot but refused to comment on whether it was appropriate to hire the spouse of a lobbyist.

Lightfoot ran her campaign on a pledge to terminate political insiders’ influence at City Hall, according to the Chicago Tribune.

City lobbying records indicated that Houlihan-Smith has lobbied city alderman on behalf of United as recently as this year.

Additionally, Smith’s wife has long been considered a high-level influencer in Chicago.

In 2016, she and Smith accompanied former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a large group of his campaign donors on a trip to Rome, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The group flew United for their junket to see Archbishop Blase Cupich elevated to cardinal at the Vatican.

Houlihan-Smith also joined United officials for the city council’s probe of the 2017 incident when a United airlines passenger was dragged from a plane by Chicago aviation police officers.

Comments (34)
No. 1-30
BlueLM101
BlueLM101

Sketchy!

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

"It was unclear how the new security detail was being paid, the Chicago Tribune reported."

well thats because they are being paid under the table. It is Chicago after all.

NotToday1327
NotToday1327

Superintendent Johnson said. “This is her police department now.”...odd...I thought it was the people of Chicago's police department paid for via their taxes. I didn't know you got your very own police department with the job.

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

What they are probably leaving out is that she had to hire private security because no self respecting cop would protect the liberal hack.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Well, that frees the Chicago police (who would have been on that detail) back to the streets, so to speak. The irony is that she's hiring retired police officers.

moquetteron
moquetteron

And to prove she's not racist, she hired all white security.

JBo
JBo

She's distancing herself from the PD because she getting ready to really throw them under the bus. Read the writing on the wall, officers.

NFPD103
NFPD103

Well, it just might be a little hard getting around town for her now without red and blue lights on the mayor's security details vehicles. then again maybe the mayor doesn't have a driver that's a police officer with a mayors car with lights and siren, to begin with. Look to see a new Police commissioner 2020 in the windy city.

LEO0301
LEO0301

I suppose if she wants to pay for private security out of her own pocket that is her prerogative. However, if she thinks the tax payers should foot the bill when the Chicago PD most likely has a specific unit for that purpose, well that would be wrong and maybe even illegal. It always shocks me that an agency who always seems to be fighting the political forces along with having to work in a city that resembles a war zone actually attracts men and women wanting to work for the agency.

PhillyBlue
PhillyBlue

Sounds like a political kickback to me, might be having some Marshals who aren't retired escorting her to the nearest federal court house if it is.

reverett456117502
reverett456117502

And here I thought she'd be good coming from Ohio, but she's surely starting off on the wrong foot. Could there be some "bad apples" in C-Town, perhaps don't lump everyone together! I'm sure she wouldn't like it if someone lumped her in the batch of others?

Capecrusader60
Capecrusader60

Guess someone forgot to tell her, private security doesnt have arrest power's. Retired LEO or not, likewise no access to blue lights or other perks of being LEOs. But i am sure like the good ole days she will just have some new laws written.

Sailor
Sailor

This so-called Mayor is a fool.

RB2207
RB2207

She can hire who ever she wants for her security as long as SHE is paying for it and not the tax payers.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

Audit!!!

Snakeman 51
Snakeman 51

I hope the people step up and make sure she pays for this, not the taxpayers of Chicago!

retiredvet2010
retiredvet2010

The new Mayor should pay for her Private Security from her Salary and that doesn't include giving yourself a pay raise just to pay for your security detail. They should also be held accountable for their actions just like any normal citizen would be. She was afforded protection by the Chicago PD, hence the reason is she should pay for her own security forces!

Gramercy
Gramercy

Well, send the "bill" to the "executive"...and I'll bet before long the PD will be handling her protection! Chicago...never REALLY know what is going on!

RPG156
RPG156

Nothing says I want to work with you like not working with you...

nenasmiller
nenasmiller

Chicago’s tax dollars at work...and it begins

Stanracer
Stanracer

So surprized to see the mayor is a police hating black female....(sarc)👎☹🤔

cspcapt
cspcapt

If they have a union and contracts, this is a classic "unfair labor violation" non union workers doing union work.

Truthrulestheday
Truthrulestheday

Chicago; City of Abject Corruption

BGenie
BGenie

Plot twist: The Security Guard detail is manned by off-duty cops that are moonlighting because they don't get paid enough to support their families.

sanman899
sanman899

It appears Chitcago prefers to be a shithole.

Da$
Da$

Out of her own pocket?

Mig Alley
Mig Alley

Everytime you think that stink hole can't sink any lower..... They prove me wrong. No way that place can come back!!!

rjdjr01
rjdjr01

being from the chicago area, the entire chicago goverment/civil servants and public works depts are one big spider web of connected families. chicago is famous for outsiders being railroaded by the old guard and it's deep rooted extended family. lightfoot won all 50 wards. the longest tenured alderman ed burke is in deep shit and he has ties all thru the system. if she truly wants to get reform going she needs to stop all the info leaks and end around plays. i do wish her luck. chicago needs it.

Watchman53
Watchman53

only because she do not want the po-po seen her doing ileagel stuff. like the rest of the government official who held that job

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

right out of the gate and she is already causing division with the Police.