CHICAGO — After missing nearly 40% of its deadlines in the last reporting period, Chicago Police officials on Wednesday expressed confidence that the department’s compliance with its court-mandated reforms was improving.
In a status update made public Wednesday afternoon, the CPD touted its efforts to improve community policing, crisis intervention training for officers, use of force training and officer wellness.
The update from the CPD, which covers reform efforts made between January and June 2021, comes ahead of the fourth report from the consent decree’s Independent Monitoring Team, led by former federal prosecutor Maggie Hickey. That report is expected to be released in the next few weeks.
The last report from the independent monitor was issued in March. Hickey and her team checked 315 of the consent decree’s 799 paragraphs and found the CPD was not in compliance with 120 of them — nearly 40%.
Robert Boik, the Executive Director of the CPD’s Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform, said Wednesday that the office recently created a new team — the Professional Standards and Compliance Division — to help keep more order in the department’s submissions to the Independent Monitor.
Boik said that, with the new team, he expects to see “a substantial increase in the number of paragraphs that were deemed to be in some level of compliance with.”
In the last reporting period, the department launched its Community Policing Initiative in five districts on the South Side. The goal, ultimately, is “to encourage problem solving and coordination among all Department members, alongside community partners and organizations.”
“That’s really what policing is at the end of the day: it’s about problem solving,” Boik said. “Obviously, it’s about deterring crime as well, but if we’re not solving problems, if we’re not getting to the root of why police are being called to a specific address, then we’re not listening to what our residents are demanding of us.”
The consent decree was brought on by a lawsuit filed against the CPD in 2017 by former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. That lawsuit was largely spurred by the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014 and the subsequent investigation of the CPD by the U.S. Department of Justice, which found that CPD officers were poorly trained and were often too quick to employ deadly force.
Since he was named Superintendent of the CPD in April 2020, David Brown has repeatedly called the requirements in the consent decree “a floor, not a ceiling.”