City Club of Chicago: Garry McCarthy – On the Record
September 19, 2016
President and CEO of GFM-Strategies
Former Police Superintendent for the City of Chicago
Throughout his extensive law enforcement career, Garry McCarthy, President and CEO of GFM-Strategies, has consistently delivered superior results. Through executive leadership roles, operations management techniques, and implementing innovative crime control strategies, McCarthy has significantly reduced crime and streamlined efficiencies.
From 2011 to 2015, McCarthy served as the Police Superintendent for the City of Chicago—the second largest police department in the nation. He oversaw a $1.4 billion budget and 13 thousand sworn and civilian employees. During his tenure, he worked diligently to reduce violence and crime by using proven crime fighting and prevention strategies that helped reduce crime in other major American cities including New York City and Newark. Under McCarthy’s leadership, Chicago saw four straight years of reduction in overall crime and the fewest violent crime incidents since the 1960s. Through policy and training efforts, he reduced police related shootings by 70 percent and police complaints by 50 percent. Since 2011, overall crime in Chicago fell by more than 37 percent—across the FBI’s combined major crime indices.
Prior to his role as the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, McCarthy served as the Police Director for Newark, New Jersey from 2006 to 2011. Under his watch, the department led the nation in murder reduction in 2008. From 2006 to 2008, he oversaw a 12 percent reduction in overall crime and reduced civilian complaints against personnel by more than 20 percent. He has also created innovative systems that helped ensure accountability throughout the police force. This role presented a mix of challenges. Due to state-mandated layoffs, McCarthy was called to implement strategies that streamlined the department and reduced the budget by more than $33 million. Here, he removed non-essential roles and ensured that there was no disruption in patrol levels or officers on the street.
McCarthy began his law enforcement career with the New York City Police Department. Over the course of his career with the NYPD, he held multiple supervisory and command positions, including Deputy Commissioner of Operations. In this role, he acted as the principal crime control strategist for the department. He was also a key policy maker responsible for directing the planning and motivating a staff of thousands. He was critically involved in planning, coordinating, and directing the response to the World Trade Center attack and aftermath. After his involvement, he was called to act as the Coordinator of the Metropolitan Committee on Counter Terrorism, a committee comprised of 43 federal, state, and local agencies.
McCarthy has been awarded more than twenty Commendations for Valor, is a sought-after expert and international public speaker, and is an active member of many organizations. He served as the First Vice President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum. He was also featured in the award-winning documentary Brick City. McCarthy attended the prestigious Police Management Institute at Columbia University as well as the graduate program at Marist College in New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from State University of New York-Albany and currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Kristin.