July 16, 2016

Chicago Police Board: A Ten-Year Analysis

CJP’s report analyzes ten years of Chicago Police Board cases and decisions. The study examines the charges filed with the Chicago Police Board and their resulting decisions over the past ten years.

The Chicago Police Board is a municipal oversight agency charged with the responsibility of making, in some cases, the final disciplinary decision for both civilian employees and sworn officers of the Chicago Police Department.  The Chicago Police Board holds hearings in response to attempts by the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department to either suspend for more than one year or terminate the employment of a civilian employee or sworn officer.  Further details on the Chicago Police Board’s accountability system can be found in our report or in a document on the Chicago Police Board’s web site titled:  Allegations of Police Misconduct

This ten year analysis by the Chicago Justice Project (CJP) is one of the most comprehensive examinations ever completed of the Chicago Police Board members’ voting patterns and decision making process.  We feel that the results of the study should spur greater discussion on the powers, responsibilities, and practices of the Chicago Police Board.  You can see our recommendations in our Executive Summary and also in our Full Report. You will also find the data set we analyzed for our study in both SPSS and comma separated values format.  We have included those in our release in case you would like to verify our findings.

The Resulting Reform – A New Ordinance

Alderman Robert Fioretti (2nd) as Chief Sponsor introduced an ordinance in the Chicago City Council today seeking to alter the practices and transparency of the Chicago Police Board.  The new ordinance takes into account the research conducted by the Chicago Justice Project and many of our recommendations.  A copy of the ordinance is included below for download.   The following alderman signed on as sponsors of the new ordinance: Toni Preckwinkle (4th), Scott Waguepack (32nd), Joe Moore (49th), Pat Dowell (3rd), Ricardo Munoz (22nd) Ed Smith (28th), Sandi Jackson (7th), Leslie Hairston (5th), Howard Brookins Jr. (21st), Manuel Flores (1st).  You can download a copy of our press release related to the new ordinance below.

Sample Decisions

Here are samples of decisions made by members of the Chicago Police Board over the course of the ten year analysis. We have included these samples to assist your understanding of both how we gathered our data and also what information is communicated, or isn’t communicated, in those decisions about how the Chicago Police Board reached their decisions

Media Coverage

Here is coverage of the report and amendments to the ordinance.