Alderman Believes Compromise On Civilian Police Oversight Is Near

Craig Dellimore
January 24, 2020 - 12:22 pm

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago aldermen are working through differences and doubts about proposals for a civilian oversight board for the police department. A key committee chairman hopes a compromise is near.

Most community activists who spoke at Thursday’s City Council hearing want an elected Civilian Police Oversight Commission. Public Safety Committee Chair Chris Taliaferro would like that, or one only partly appointed by the Mayor.

Alderman Patrick Thompson questioned that, but Taliaferro noted that the Inspector General, Police Board President, and COPA Director are all appointed.

"What we don't have, and I think is very important, especially its impact on community trust, what we don't have is a board or commission that is elected by the people, and so I think that..." Taliaferro said, before being interrupted.

Taliaferro believes a compromise on Civilian Police Oversight could be close. He said Susan Lee, Mayor Lightfoot’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, and key aldermen have been meeting. And he thinks something close to an ordinance already proposed could emerge.

"I would hope so, or some version of it. I know that the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety is working very hard and diligently with our sponsors of the ordinance," he said.

The City’s police reform efforts include a civilian panel to oversee policies and procedures, but for more than two years, there have been differences about how that board will be comprised and what powers it will have.