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Review of the Chicago Police Department’s “Gang Database”

Report Details

Report Description: 
The Public Safety Section of the City of Chicago’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has concluded a review of the Chicago Police Department’s gang-related data, commonly referred to by the public as the “gang database.” OIG found that while the Chicago Police Department (CPD or the “Department”) deploys a host of strategies, tactics, and technology in relation to gangs, it does not have a unified, stand-alone “gang database” as publicly perceived. Instead, the Department collects and stores information on individual and geographic gang involvement through a multitude of internal databases, forms, visualization tools, and repositories. CPD also receives gang-related data generated by external agencies. Therefore, any effort to address public concern over the purpose and practices associated with the Department’s collection and use of gang information must begin with an accurate understanding of the various components and current technological limitations. OIG’s review further found that: 1) CPD lacks sufficient controls for generating, maintaining, and sharing gang-related data; 2) CPD’s gang information practices lack procedural fairness protections; 3) CPD’s gang designations raise significant data quality concerns; and 4) CPD’s practices and lack of transparency regarding its gang designations strain police-community relations.
Date Issued: 
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Agency Reviewed / Investigated: 
Chicago, IL
United States
Type of Report: 
Inspection / Evaluation
Professional Standard: 
AIG's Green Book, Principles and Standards for Offices of Inspectors General

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