I invite you to attend a City Council hearing on proposals to reform the police accountability system next Tuesday, Aug. 9th, 6:30 p.m. at Senn High School, 5900 N Glenwood (at Thorndale).
I chair the City Council’s North Side Police Accountability Subcommittee and will preside over the hearing. I expect several north side aldermen will be in attendance, including Alderman Harry Osterman in whose ward the hearing will be held.
Limited parking is available in a parking lot accessible from Thorndale. Senn also is accessible by the #22 Clark bus and by Divvy bike, with the closest Divvy station at Clark and Elmdale.
This is one of five public hearings to be held across the City of Chicago in August to gather public input regarding proposals to replace the Independent Police Review Authority with a new civilian investigative agency and create a Public Safety Auditor to audit the Police Department and investigate allegations of misconduct within the Department. Both reforms were recommended by the Police Accountability Task Force. For a copy of the task force report and a list of the Task Force’s recommendations, click here.
These community hearings follow a series of hearings held at City Hall and are intended to solicit input from community residents who are unable to attend daytime hearings at City Hall. I urge you to attend this hearing, as the input offered at this and the other four community hearings will inform the City Council’s decisions on the important goals of reforming the police accountability process and assuring the public that any instance of police misconduct will be thoroughly and independently investigated.
Mayor Emanuel has stated his desire to have these proposals adopted by the City Council in September. Though I share the Mayor’s sense of urgency, I believe it is more important to get this right than to adhere to any rigid timetable. We need to make sure we fully engage community residents and experts in the field so that we can devise thoughtful and comprehensive legislation that, once implemented, can begin to restore public confidence in the police accountability system.
A separate engagement community engagement process, led by neighborhood-based community organizations, will soon be held on a proposal to establish a Community Safety Oversight Board. This is another reform recommended by the Police Accountability Task Force and would be designed to give community residents a role in overseeing law enforcement.
I urge to attend the hearing next week. If you are unable to attend this hearing, additional public hearings will be held at the following times and locations:
- Thursday, August 11, 6:30 p.m., Little Village Lawndale High School, 3120 S. Kostner
- Tuesday, August 16, 6:30 p.m., Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin
- Monday, August 22, 6:30 p.m., North Grand High School, 4338 W. Wabansia
I urge you to attend next Tuesday’s hearing or one of the subsequent hearings.