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OIG Finds That the Disciplinary Process for Chicago Police Department Members Risks Unfair and Inconsistent Outcomes Across Misconduct Investigations

Report Details

Report Description: 
The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Public Safety section has released a report on the consistency and fairness of the processes by which discipline is recommended and reviewed by Chicago Police Department (CPD) members found to have committed misconduct. OIG concluded that the agencies charged with investigating CPD members and recommending discipline, as well as reviewing those recommendations, do not operate with sufficient guidance and controls to ensure procedural fairness and consistency. An allegation that a CPD member has committed misconduct is usually investigated by CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA) or the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA). If BIA or COPA finds that a CPD member has committed misconduct, that investigating agency recommends a disciplinary penalty. This recommended discipline then proceeds through a review process, after which CPD issues any discipline to the accused Department member. Depending on the rank of the accused CPD member and the nature of the discipline, the Police Board may adjudicate the matter and review the investigating agency’s disciplinary recommendation. Among OIG’s findings are that: BIA and COPA’s policies do not contain clear and actionable guidance on how investigators should weigh aggravating and mitigating factors in reaching disciplinary recommendations; Updates to BIA and COPA’s policies may still be inadequate to ensure consistency and fairness across cases without an advisory tool; and The Police Board does not have any formal policies to consistently and fairly determine discipline for the cases it considers.
Date Issued: 
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Agency Reviewed / Investigated: 
Chicago, IL
United States
Cook County
Type of Report: 
Inspection / Evaluation
Professional Standard: 
AIG's Green Book, Principles and Standards for Offices of Inspectors General

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