OIG Releases Advisory Concerning the Chicago Police Department’s Preferential Parking and Misuse of Parking Placards

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released an advisory which finds that Chicago Police Department (CPD) members have been violating the Municipal Code of Chicago, which prohibits the parking of any vehicle in a fire lane, under the lowest portion of fire escapes, and on the same side of any exit of a theatre building, causing a potential safety hazard. Additionally, CPD members have been misusing parking placards to secure illegal parking spots for themselves and their family and friends near City Hall, as well as at CPD district parking lots to attend nearby sporting events.

While CPD issued directive #236336 on February 7, 2018, prohibiting the provision of preferential parking by CPD members, OIG found that preferential and illegal parking is still ongoing. OIG recommended that that CPD strictly adhere to directive #236336 and enforce disciplinary action when compliance is not met. We also recommended that CPD issue a departmental policy requiring CPD-issued parking placards to be used solely at the locations designated on the placards and used only by authorized CPD members for official CPD business.

In response, CPD communicated that reserved parking at CPD lots is for on-duty personnel only, but without assigning patrol for these lots, individuals, sworn and/or civilian, may be able to park without detection. In response to the misuse of placards near City Hall, CPD stated that as of November 2018, members who were assigned at City Hall have discontinued parking at West Court Place and North LaSalle Street, and City Hall officers have retrieved the parking placards that were previously provided to CPD personnel.

“We appreciate CPD’s compliance with retrieving placards that were previously provided for City Hall parking, as well as the discontinued use of prohibited parking. However, the lack of enforcement of City Municipal Code and CPD’s directive presents an image that CPD does not have to adhere to policies and procedures, and that rules don’t apply to sworn personnel,” said Inspector General Joe Ferguson. “When departments choose not to comply with the Municipal Code, it sends a message to City employees as well as the communities they serve. We hope the Department re-evaluates its position.”

The Advisory can be found on OIG’s website at: bit.ly/CPDParkingAdvisory

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The mission of the independent and non-partisan City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity by identifying corruption, waste, and mismanagement in City government. OIG is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City and has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and audits into most aspects of City government. If you see corruption, fraud, or waste of any kind, we need to hear from you. For more information, visit our website at: igchicago.org.