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County pol compares Chicago’s top cop to father of our country

Supt. Garry McCarthy large protest against NATO Cermak   Michigan. Sunday May 20 2012 | Brian Jacks~Sun-Times

Supt. Garry McCarthy at the large protest against NATO at Cermak & Michigan. Sunday, May 20, 2012 | Brian Jackson ~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 7, 2012 8:43AM

Apparently holding back a mob of angry protesters at the NATO Summit is on par with leading the American Revolution.

At least that’s what one Cook County commissioner suggested Tuesday when he compared Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy to George Washington.

“Congratulations superintendent, I saw you on the mountain on, uh, I think it was Michigan Avenue at one point. There was a mound and you were standing there, and it kind of reminded me of George Washington,” said Commissioner Peter N. Silvestri, a Republican representing a Northwest Side and suburban district.

“All you needed was a horse and a sword.”

Silvestri drew laughs and some groans at the Cook County Board meeting that included a tribute to McCarthy and his officers. But Silvestri wasn’t the only one reaching for a little hyberbole to honor Chicago’s top cop’s handling of the May 20 skirmishes at Michigan and Cermak.

“We had a city that was on edge, and I think that everybody shared my feeling — everybody that I talked to — the sense of not just relief, but pride that we had when we saw the professionalism, when we saw the coordination of all of the first responders — not just [the Chicago Police Department], but the Fire Department, the Cook County Homeland Security office, the sheriff’s department the federal agents that were involved,” Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey said.

Images of McCarthy standing with his officers as they came face to face — largely peacefully — with protesters were beamed around the world.

“It was almost just like watching a John Wayne movie — watching you stand behind the lines there with a sense of calm,” said Fritchey, a North Side Democrat.

McCarthy smiled and looked sheepish at different points. When it was his turn to talk he said: “Thank you, I’m a little bit embarrassed right now.”

“It was a great team effort … state, county, local — you name it.”

Commissioners passed a resolution honoring all law enforcement serving during the NATO Summit and stood and clapped for McCarthy — and by extension all the officers.

So far, no move to make McCarthy’s birthday a holiday.

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