Second Interim Report: Search Warrants Executed by the Chicago Police Department

Pursuant to the Municipal Code of Chicago §§ 2-56-030 and -230, the Public Safety section of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is conducting an inquiry into the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) execution of search warrants, focusing on the accuracy of the addresses at which they are executed. As part of an ongoing inquiry, OIG has analyzed CPD data on search warrants issued between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2020. OIG is issuing this Second Interim Report in order to better equip stakeholders––to the extent feasible given the quality of CPD’s data––with clear and accurate information during the ongoing public conversation and policy debate respecting improvements to CPD’s search warrant policy and practices.[1]

OIG also aims to highlight the intersections and gaps between the other proposed changes to CPD’s policy and its existing data collection practices, for consideration as those proposed changes are finalized.

[1] Arising from its ongoing inquiry, OIG’s Public Safety section previously released preliminary findings and urgent recommendations to CPD in December 2020. See: Specifically, OIG found that CPD’s directive on search warrants left gaps in CPD members’ obligations to verify and corroborate the information upon which they rely in seeking a search warrant, and that the circumstances under which a CPD supervisor was required to initiate a disciplinary investigation following a problematic search warrant execution were too narrow. OIG recommended that CPD modify its directive on search warrants to require verification and corroboration of information in all circumstances, and broaden the circumstances in which supervisors must initiate an investigation to determine whether discipline is necessary and appropriate when a search warrant execution goes wrong. CPD accepted both recommendations. Accordant policy changes were among the proposed changes to CPD’s Special Order S04-19: Search Warrants, announced by CPD and the Mayor’s Office in March 2021.