The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) Public Safety Section has published its 2021 Annual Report. The Public Safety section, specifically enabled by the Municipal Code of Chicago (MCC), provides focus and dedicated resources to the oversight of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Chicago’s police accountability agencies. By ordinance, the Public Safety section’s inquiries are focused on the policies, practices, programs, procedures, and training of CPD, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), and the Police Board, with respect to constitutional policing, discipline, use of force, and CPD’s integrity, transparency, and relationship with City residents. Additionally, the Public Safety section is charged with studying police disciplinary investigations and hearings, including examining the fairness and consistency of discipline and whether individual misconduct investigations are complete, thorough, objective, and fair. MCC § 2-56-230.
The Public Safety section works to improve the effectiveness, accountability, and transparency of CPD and Chicago’s police accountability agencies, and to transform the critical relationship between CPD and the communities it serves. Its distinctive value within the City of Chicago’s public safety oversight system derives from its long-term, systemic perspective on necessary reforms, direct access to and utilization of City data systems, deep institutional knowledge of City operations, and position of independence from all other components of City government. Based on robust community and agency engagement, along with a focus on the appropriate use of data and technology, the Public Safety section identifies long-term, systemic reform opportunities, thereby improving the fairness and effectiveness with which public safety services are delivered and the safety of all of the City’s neighborhoods.