Follow-Up on Opportunities for Civilianization in CPD

This report is a follow up to a January 2013 Review of Opportunities for Civilianization in the Chicago Police Department. Looking across 370 positions in the original review, OIG found a total of 292 full-duty sworn officers filling jobs that did not require the authority, skills, knowledge, or experience specific to sworn officers. The January review estimated annual savings from CPD civilianization ranging from $6.4 million to $16.6 million per year.

Since OIG’s review, CPD reports that it has:

  • Moved 126 sworn officers from administrative and dispatch positions to field duties
  • Identified 65 positions to be filled by civilians
  • Taken efforts outside of personnel changes to advocate for a change to state law that will allow retired police officers to serve summons

The OIG’s follow-up was unable to determine if the 126 positions will be filled by civilians or if the 65 vacated positions were left by the same sworn officers moved into the field. Similarly, OIG could not verify whether any of these positions are related to the 292 identified by the January review.

CPD reasserts its general commitment to civilianization efforts. However, OIG concludes that CPD’s civilianization efforts remain a work in progress as, among other things, it has yet to initiate a department-wide assessment of positions that could be civilianized, as was recommended by OIG in January.

“Potential savings from a civilianization effort on par with the practices of many other major municipal police departments is a means of freeing up millions of dollars at a time of general City-wide fiscal constraints, mounting CPD overtime expenditures, challenges in collective bargaining negotiations, and the looming pension cliff,” said Inspector General Joe Ferguson, “While we remain encouraged by CPD’s commitment in principle to utilizing the law enforcement skills and training of sworn officers to the greatest tactical benefit, our follow up suggests that CPD’s civilianization efforts remain incremental and opaque. CPD should be conducting a department-wide review to identify positions in all sections that can be performed by civilian personnel now or in the future.”