FOIA: Chicago Police Board Types of Records

As part of CJP’s efforts to better understand what records are actually produced in the operations of the Chicago Police Board (Board) we filed this FOIA request on April 17, 2020.

CJP has researching the operations of the Board since 2009 when we published our analysis of ten years of their decisions here. A few years back we built an interactive data portal to allow users to better track the trends in case outcomes and the voting among the Board’s members.

Over the last few weeks the entire police accountability community in Chicago signed on to a shocking plea agreement to suspend an officer who they all agreed committed an unjustified shooting of a teenager rather than terminate his employment. As a result of this coming to light CJP decided we would force open public records surrounding this plea agreement to learn why the police accountability community agreed to this plea deal.

Well, the Board responded to our FOIA but refused to identify the types of records they were withholding from disclosure. So, we decided we would, as the Illinois FOIA allows us to, send in a FOIA request to the Board for detailed description of all the types of records they produce and whether each type is available through FOIA.

We will of course be posting any and all replies we get from the Board.

Records Request

In accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records: 

1. A list of all types or categories of records currently under the Chicago Police Board’s Control, as provided in 5 ILCS 140/5.

2. A description of the manner in which public records stored by means of electronic data processing may be obtained from the Chicago Police Board (in a form comprehensible to persons lacking knowledge of computer language or printout format), as provided in 5 ILCS 140/5. 


If the agency believes they are going to withhold any document or information pertinent to the requests made herein, please identify the document or information in as much detail as is possible and detail in specific language why each document or piece of information is being withheld.

If any information requested herein is withheld on the basis of a claim of privilege or subject to protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or trial, then that claim shall be made expressly in a writing that describes the nature of the Documents, Communications, or Things not produced or disclosed in a manner that will enable us to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. With regard to each claim of privilege or protection, the following information should be provided in the response or the objection:

(a) the type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;

(b) general subject matter of the Document;

(c) the date of the Document; and

(d) such other information as is sufficient to identify the Document for a subpoena duces tecum, including, where appropriate, the author, addressee, and any other recipient of the Document, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the author, addressee, and any other recipient to each other.

If any Document or Thing identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document or Thing should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document or Thing, its date, general nature (e.g., letter, memorandum, telegram, telex, photograph, computer printout), subject matter, each author or originator, each person indicated as an addressee or copy recipient, and its former custodian(s). In addition, as to each such Document or Thing, the following information shall be supplied:

(a) date of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(b) manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(c) reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;

(d) persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;

(e) persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and

(f) persons who destroyed, lost, or disposed or the Document or Thing. I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3). 

Please direct all questions or responses to this FOIA request to this email address by responding to this email. 


4/27 –


Thanks very much for your comments. I have updated the list to add the hearing officer’s report to the Board and the parties’ responses to the report (please see attached).  The electronic communications you describe below fall into the category of correspondence that is on the list.


4/27 – Max,

Thanks for replying to our FOIA. I do believe that some relevant records that the Chicago Police Board is required by law to maintain have not made it on the list.

Digital Communications: All electronic communications from and to you and your staff regarding the work of the Chicago Police Board should have been included in this list. Not to mention any electronic communications from or to board members regarding their work for the City of Chicago should have to be maintained by the Chicago Police Board and listed among the publicly available documents that you maintain.  

Hearing Officer Any documents that are created by the hearing officer including any case summaries they supply to the board should be included. 
Thanks for taking the time to put together this list. I look forward receiving a completed list of all the records the Chicago Police Board is required by law to maintain for public inspection.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

4/21 – Dear Mr. Siska,
I write in response to your Freedom of Information Act request (re-printed below).
Attached is the record you are requesting. 
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this response.
Max A. Caproni
Executive Director, Chicago Police Board

Here is the list of the records they sent us:

FOIA List of Records: Chicago Police Board

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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