Public Complaint Process / by Darryl Holliday

  1. The affidavit step, which is an obstacle to the reporting of misconduct, requires investigators' time and resources and leads directly to the closure of numerous cases each year, would be eliminated.
  2. Anonymous complaints and a community engagement process would also facilitate easier reporting.
  3. Improvements to the investigations conducted by individual police districts, such as requiring a consistent investigative structure and updating data and case tracking systems, would streamline operations and improve accountability.
  4. The "mediation" program, which presently functions like a plea bargaining and preempts a full investigation of the complaint, would be reformed. Mediation of allegations that could result in serious discipline would be prohibited. Additionally, the City would be encouraged to establish a mediation program based on national best practices that involves both police and citizens to promote dialogue and better understanding in accordance with restorative justice principles and objectives.
  5. IPRA would be replaced by a more independent Civilian Police Investigative Agency (CPIA). Investigations by CPIA and BIA would be informed by pattern and practice analysis, and would be improved through regular audits by the Inspector General for Public Safety, greater oversight through the Community Oversight Safety Board, enhanced technology and new training.
  6. Numerous steps currently mandated by the collective bargaining agreements that hinder the efficiency and effectiveness of investigations would also be eliminated.
  7. Examples of current CBA-based practices include allowing officers to amend prior statements after viewing video footage, limitations on when and how interviews of officers may be conducted and limitations on how closed complaint files can be used in disciplinary proceedings.
  8. Command Channel review, a process by which multiple CPD members in the accused's chain of command can recommend changing the finding and discipline recommendations made by IPRA or BIA would be eliminated. This process adds time to the process and is a redundant layer of due process.
  9. Increased transparency and scrutiny would bring much needed accountability to the arbitration process, where the majority of suspension decisions (other than those which are mediated) are ultimately resolved. When IPRA and BIA recommend discipline, arbitrators frequently eliminate or reduce the discipline and only maintain the recommended discipline in a minority of cases.
  10. There would be greater oversight of termination cases before the Police Board through regular, publicly reported Public Safety Inspector General assessments of disciplinary trends and impediments to imposing discipline.
  11. The opportunity for sergeants, lieutenants, and captains to challenge a suspension through the grievance process after the Police Board has already issued a decision on the case would be eliminated.
  12. The investigative oversight entities (currently IPRA and BIA) would be required to make disciplinary recommendations according to a single, format, publicly available discipline matrix, thereby more predictability and fairness to the disciplinary systems.
  13. Additionally, there would be greater transparency in their reporting of investigatory findings.