FOIA: Crime Lab Staffing Analysis for CPD

The Crime Lab at the University of Chicago has allegedly produced a staffing analysis for the Chicago Police Department. The work according the reporting in the Sun-Times was done pro-bono by the Crime Lab. This has the potential to be a very significant development for a police force that has lied about staffing for decades.

it is not that the CPD has not had staffing analyses done before because they have. CJP does have a copy of that study but it was a relatively weak study and was completed right as Jody Weis was about to walk out the door. The CPD has a history of playing politics – even racial politics – with the staffing of police districts. There really is no incentive for the CPD to get a legitimate many power study done because that would inhibit their ability to under-staff some districts and over-staff others so this analysis by the Crime Lab while having the potential to be a good thing will most likely be either ignored or misused by the CPD officials.

CJP is currently in the process of a major research project with the Paul Douglas Institute at the University of Chicago looking specifically at the best practices in staffing and manpower analysis around the country. CJP has all the data needed to do the staffing analysis ourselves and hope to complete one as part of our work with the PDI.

Our FOIA here is to access the analyses completed by the Crime Lab so we can understand their methodology and the results. As you will see we have also requested access to all the data and records the CPD supplied to the Crime Lab to assist them in their work. This alone has the potential for a major success in opening CPD data to the public because the CPD constantly lies about what data they keep and don’t keep.

FOIA Content

To:  Chicago Police Department
Re: University of Chicago Crime Lab Study / Report / Analysis 
In accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records: 
Please provide a copy of any analysis, report, or study conducted by anyone connected with the University of Chicago Crime Lab regarding Chicago Police Department staffing, manpower, or resource allocation. 
Please provide copies of all records and data provided to anyone working with the Chicago Crime Lab for their use in conducting the study, report, or analysis requested in FOIA A. 
Please provide any agreements entered in to between the Chicago Police Department and anyone from the Chicago Crime Lab regarding the study, report, or analysis requested in FOIA A.
Please provide copies of any invoices or bills the Chicago Police Department received from anyone from the Chicago Crime Lab regarding the study, report, or analysis requested in FOIA A.
Please provide any internal study, report, or analysis conducted by the Chicago Police Department regarding staffing, manpower, or resource allocation for the years 2000-2021. 
1.  Records sufficient to show Your efforts to locate and produce the records requested in FOIAs A through E above. This should include:
A.  Where you searched for responsive Records and Documents.
B.  Who searched for responsive Records and Documents.
C.  Who was requested to produce responsive Records and Documents.
D.  The identify of any Records and Documents that were located but not produced for any reason.


“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.
“You” or “Your” means the {Public Body}, and all attorneys, employees, officers, directors, bureaus, offices, divisions or subdivisions of same.
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. I can be reached at 

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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