Last week former FBI agent Pat Daly was appointed as Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis’ new chief of staff. In that position, Daly is expected to play a crucial role in revamping a troubled department, beset by lawsuits, brutality complaints, and an alleged culture of rogue cops who feel unaccountable to authority.

Daly took his first steps in law enforcement in Oak Park, starting in April, 1977 as a rookie. He resigned the day after Christmas, 1982 to enter the FBI.

Recently retired Oak Park Deputy Chief Bob Scianna was one of Daly’s training officers 30 years ago. Scianna recalled a man eager to be a cop, and someone who made the most of his opportunities.

Daly became an explosives expert, a path that involved him in a number of high-profile FBI operations, including the hunt for the Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski; the investigation of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and the search for clues in the wreckage of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

After retiring from the FBI, he became head of security for the CTA.

“I’m so proud I was part of his law enforcement career,” Scianna said recently. “I’m also proud he’s progressed as far as he did.”

Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley said he was happy to forward an old department photo of Daly. Though he couldn’t help noting the small shamrock tie pin Daly was wearing.

“Out of uniform,” said Tanksley with a chuckle.

Daly likely won’t have to worry much about uniform regulations in his new job.

-Bill Dwyer

Join the discussion on social media!