COPA Head Sydney Roberts Resigns

Sydney Roberts, Chief Administrator of the Citizen Office of Police Accountability, (COPA), resigns her position effective Friday, May 14th. Her exist is one in a line of justice related positions that individuals seems to be fleeing from in the Lightfoot administration.

CJP was not supportive of the appointment of Roberts to the position back in 2018 when then Mayor Rham Emanuel picked Roberts to lead COPA. Her background in the Secretary of State Police certainly did not seem like it was adequate experience to come and run an agency that would try to hold accountable a police department so fraught with corruption and abuse issues,.

CJP has covered the operations of COPA
before in a previous show discussing an audit conducted by the Deputy
Inspector General for Public Safety Deborah Witzburg. You can find it here.

Roberts tenure has been marred by pretty much the same things the tenure of each of her predecessors was marred by. The agency from its inception was set up to fail in that it was never provided the necessary resources to do its job properly. Obviously if the agency cannot close investigations fast enough then the agency is going to need more resources to do it, i.e., additional investigators and staff. One of the many consistencies between the Daley – Emanuel – Lightfoot administrations has been their desire to not increase the budgets for the police accountability system no matter how much the evidence proved they needed more resources. Instead they do what all corrupt and soulless politicians do, make the leader of the agency, Sydney Roberts in this case, a scapegoat for the failures of the agency and find another to be scapegoat to take over and promise changes. The one difference is Lightfoot ran a police accountability agency for Daley in the early 2000s and should know better. I guess the experience was not that impactful.

Also covered on today’s show:

Images used on the show today

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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