FOIA: Opening the Finances of the CPD

FinancesIt is time the finances of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) be open for the public to better learn about how the agency spends money and what that money is spent on.

Traditionally the public is only able to access the CPD’s budget in a very basic level through the larger city budget document. Then of course the proposed budget for each year is hashed over in a very rudimentary way in the City Council budget hearings. Neither of these two channels of information provide the public with the detailed access to the CPD’s finances and what the CPD’s operations actually cost.

It is for these reasons why we have filed this expansive set of FOIAs seeking never before released information related to the CPD’s finances. Their tradition of hiding this type of financial information from the public can no longer be allowed to stand.

This is our first salvo in what we certainly figure will be a long war designed to open detailed financial information regarding the daily operations of the CPD.

FOIA Content

To: Chicago Police Department

Subject: Chicago Justice Project FOIA – Financial Data

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

FOIA A

In digital comma separated values (CSV) format please provide the payroll for the Chicago Police Department for the 1st day of each month for each year from 2000-2020. At a minimum this should include the following:

  1. Employee name
  2. Employee job title
  3. Annual Salary
  4. Star number for sworn officers
  5. Unit of assignment
  6. If a sworn officer has been detailed to another unit provide that unit information also.
  7. If a sworn officer has been detailed to another unit provide the start date of detail
  8. If a sworn officer has been detailed to another unit provide the end date of detail
  9. Employee gender
  10. Employee race
  11. Employee age
  12. Hire date

FOIA B

In digital format please provide the Pay Schedule for the Chicago Police Department for the 1st day of each month for each year from 2000-2020.

FOIA C

In digital format provide the budget for the Chicago Police Department for the years 2000-2020.

FOIA D

In digital comma separated values (CSV) format please provide the following:

  1. Budget Requests for each year from 2000-2020.
  2. Budget Recommendation for each year from 2000-2020.

FOIA E

In digital format please provide documents sufficient to show the following for each of the 13 periods for each year from 2000-2020.

  1. The budgeted number of officers per unit by title code
  2. The authorized number of officers per district by unit and by title code
  3. The assigned number of officers per district by unit and title code
  4. The number of officers detailed out per district by unit and title code
  5. The number of officers detailed in per district by unit and title code
  6. The actual number of officers per district by unit and title code
  7. The number of non-radio assignment personnel per district by unit and title code
  8. The number of non-radio assignment personnel authorized per district by unit and title code
  9. The number of non-radio assignment personnel budgeted per district by unit and title code
  10. The maximum number of total officers required per district by unit and title code
  11. The number of probationary officers per district

FOIA F

In digital format any analysis for the categories detailed below created or maintained by the Chicago Police Department dating from the years of 2000-2020:

  1. Staffing
  2. Manpower
  3. Resource allocation

FOIA G

In digital format provide any analysis of police calls for service data for each of the 13 periods in the years 2000-2020. This should include at a minimum:

  1. analyses of total minutes consumed by district
  2. analyses of total minutes consumed by unit
  3. analyses of response times by district
  4. analyses of response times by unit

FOIA H

In digital format any analysis of operational costs for the years 2000-2020 by:

  1. Bureau
  2. Area
  3. District
  4. Unit
  5. Department

FOIA I

In digital comma separated values (CSV) format please provide the unit number for each unit within the Chicago Police Department for the years 2000-2020.

DEFINITIONS
“Document” and/or “Documents” means any documents or electronically stored information of any kind—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.

“Digital format” means data in a format that can be easily processed by a computer without human intervention while ensuring no semantic meaning is lost.

INSTRUCTIONS

If the agency withholds 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 other 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;

(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; and

(e) the nature of the privilege or protection;

(f) if applicable, the litigation or trial of which he document was created in anticipation.

If any Document identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document, 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, 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.

Updates

11/18 – The CPD completed several searches in our database and in our records section. Regarding A, B, C, D, F, and H, after collaboration with our Dept. of Finance, it was determined that CPD is not the keeper of records. Please note that each City Department is a separate “public body” under Section 2 of FOIA, 5 ILCS 140/2(a). See Duncan Publishing Inv v. City of Chicago, 304 Ill. App.3d 778, 784, 709 N.E. 2d 1281, 1282 (1st Dist 1999). A FOIA request must be directed to the department that maintains the records you’re seeking.

Please visit the City’s website for a list of City FOIA Departments and the records each maintains: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/narr/foia/foia_contacts.html.

The remainder of your request we are still awaiting information for and would like an additional five business days for a response.

Sincerely,

R. Earnshaw
Freedom of Information Act Officer
Chicago Police Department
Office of Legal Affairs, Unit 114
3510 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60653

P610144_Response_Letter

10/18 – I agree

Tracy

10/16 – Hello Tracy, so you basically have 9 FOIA requests in one. There is no way we would complete this in five business days. They also go to various departments. Rather than claim broad/burdensome we ask you allow us 21 business days, I believe with the holidays that would be Nov. 17, to complete the request. Also, if CPD is not the keeper of any of these records we would let you know as soon as possible so you can pursue them elsewhere. Thanks much.

Police – 5 Day Extension Letter 19

(You have to give it to the person within the CPD that they think there is ever a time they fulfill a FOIA within 5 working days. It is pretty comical.)

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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