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Terry Hillard ‘shocked,’ ‘flattered’ to get call for police supt. job

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Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



Police Alert . . .

In an exclusive interview, new interim Police Supt. Terry Hillard — who is respected amongst the rank and file — talked about his new job and what needs to be changed.

“I was shocked and flattered to get the call this morning,” he told Sneed. “It came out of the blue.”

Not only did Mayor Daley want Hillard back, but so did Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.

“I’m not one to criticize, but it’s no secret morale amongst the rank and file has been low,” said Hillard, who was referring to the tenure of Police Supt. Jody Weis, a former career FBI agent, who abruptly left office Tuesday — the day his city contract was up.

Weis pulled the plug on Mayor Daley’s request to stay until Emanuel took office when the contract extension was not put in writing.

Hillard, who had served in the Chicago Police Department for 35 years, had also been a bodyguard for former mayors Jane Byrne and Harold Washington.

A big fan of the FBI, Hillard offered little praise for Weis: “There has been some success with numbers, but statistics aren’t what the job is all about,” he told Sneed. “The Office of Patrol has been decimated ... depleted. They [Weis’ administration] took all the good cops and put them in special sections and units. That’s not right.

“Every unit in the police department is a support unit of the patrol department.”

Hilllard, a devoted husband and grandfather, got a thumbs-up from his family to take the job — but told Sneed: “This is not a permanent job. It is only temporary. I will be taking a leave from my company, Hillard Heintze, which is a security advisory firm, until a permanent replacement is found. Our firm has only one client dealing with the city.”

On Jan. 13, a Sneed item tipped Supt. Weis was asked to stay on beyond his contract date until the new mayor took office, but there was reluctance to put it in writing. It was also Sneed’s exclusive when Weis was named the new police superintendent.

How time flies.

Pssst . . .

Is it a case of Attention Deficit Disorder? Sneed hears rumors a sealed motion containing a doctor’s affidavit may have been filed recently by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers. Dunno its contents. It’s being kept hush-hush.

Cop Shop . . .

Gun fun? Word is two of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s bodyguards — Chicago cops Hakki Gurkan, who served a tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and who once served in Rahm’s congressional office, and Mark Rebecchi — are members of a “pseudo” rock band called the “Sonic Pistol.”

†The kicker: A description of their group on Facebook reads thus: “Celebrate beauty, sex and betrayal, against a backdrop of neurotic guitar driven, no frills pseudo rock.”

†The stunner: Images promoting the band on their MySpace.com page include a picture of a woman’s nearly naked behind cradling a gun against her left thigh. Not so cute, fellas.

A Brit bit . . .

A commoner’s palate? The effluvia engulfing the upcoming royal wedding of England’s Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton contains this bit on Kate’s favorite foods: pate on toasted brioche; roast figs on parma ham with spicy apple chutney, tiger prawns, wild mushroom linguine and sticky toffee pudding.

Egads!

A new book titled 33 Men, written by Chilean resident/newspaper correspondent Jonathan Franklin, claims the trapped Chilean miners — starving and rescued two months after their mine collapsed — “had a pot and a saw ready” to cook and eat the first man who died. The book was published in Canada Tuesday.

Scratch ’em . . .

Scratch Sneed’s item Loop lawyer Matthew Hynes, brother of former state comptroller Dan Hynes, heads the list to become Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s chief of staff. It ain’t gonna happen.

Sneedlings . . .

Congrats to Circuit Court Judge Marcus Salone on being appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court . . . Today’s birthdays: Jon Bon Jovi, 49; Mikhail Gorbachev, 80; Ed Murnane, 67; Lou Reed, 69, and Marion Durpetti, ageless.



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