OIG Public Safety Section Issues Comprehensive Overview of the Investigative and Disciplinary Process for Chicago Police Department Members

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Public Safety section has issued a series of flowcharts mapping the investigative and disciplinary process for Chicago Police Department (CPD) members, including all avenues of disciplinary review and appeal. OIG is required by City ordinance to examine Sustained findings of misconduct committed by CPD members and accompanying disciplinary recommendations, in order to assess trends and determine whether discipline is consistently and fairly applied. These flowcharts provide a foundation for doing so, by elucidating the processes and systems in which those findings and any resulting discipline occur. These flowcharts and accompanying documents offer a resource for the public, city officials, and Department members seeking to understand a complex and multivariate process. In further response to the obligations of its ordinance, OIG will periodically release evaluative reports covering Sustained misconduct findings and the implementation of discipline against CPD members.

OIG has created twenty different flowcharts, to allow users to trace all possible disciplinary pathways for CPD members, depending upon rank, sworn or civilian status, amount of recommended discipline, investigating agency, appeal process exercised, etc. OIG has also drafted a Guide to the Disciplinary Process for the Chicago Police Department, to provide a high-level overview of the disciplinary process for all CPD members, sworn and civilian, for all types of allegations of misconduct and levels of recommended discipline. The guide draws on resources from CPD, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the Police Board, OIG, municipal ordinances, and state law. Each City department whose processes are reflected had the opportunity to review a draft of the guide and provide feedback. This guide will be updated on a periodic basis, in order to reflect any changes in the legal and regulatory landscape, including updates to collective bargaining agreements covering CPD members.

“The investigative and disciplinary process for CPD members is complex to the point of threatening procedural fairness for those subject to it, and clouding the public’s view of its outcomes. This project aims to provide CPD members and members of the public with a clearer understanding of that process––a series of possibilities and outcomes, rooted in many layers of policies, rules, laws, and contracts––in an easier-to-digest visual form. This is a tangled and convoluted process that has historically puzzled stakeholders in all directions,” said Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety Deborah Witzburg. “Having this information centrally located, and regularly updated and evaluated by our office, will aid members of the public and members of the Department in navigating the disciplinary process, and better position the City to learn from its outcomes; these are critical steps in our ongoing efforts to bolster the transparency and legitimacy of the police accountability system.”

The full details can be found on OIG’s website: CPD Disciplinary Process Overview.

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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