Mayor Lori Lightfoot Named Head of New Citizens Board to Oversee Chicago Police Department – Greeley Tribune

Chicago (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot has named longtime police reform advocate Adam Gross as the first executive director of the newly created civics board to oversee the Chicago Police Department.

Gross, an attorney and public safety policy expert who helped a coalition of grassroots groups negotiate with the Lightfoot administration to create the new Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, will help lead the new oversight board.

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“I am honored and humbled to serve Chicago as the first executive director of the newly created Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability,” Gross said in a statement. “Independent, citizen-led oversight of our police departments and police accountability agencies is more important than ever.”

Approved by the city council in July, the board is expected to begin its work later this year, when the city council rules committee has nominated 14 people to serve on the seven-member board. Lightfoot will choose from among those 14 nominees.

The Rules Committee missed the December 1 deadline to name those 14 nominees.

The city council’s approval of the new civic oversight board came after tense negotiations between grassroots police reform groups and the mayor’s office, both under Lightfoot and former mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The board will give citizens in Chicago more information in setting policies for the Chicago Police Department, the Citizens Office of Police Accountability, and the Chicago Police Board. However, the mayor would retain his power to hire and fire the superintendent of police, and could veto a policy mandate approved by the new Civil Inspection Commission, although the city council could override his veto by a two-thirds vote.

Lightfoot said in a statement, “Under Adam’s leadership, the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability will become an important part of our city’s police accountability infrastructure and empower our communities to lead in this incredibly important work.” will do.” “I have full confidence in Adam’s experience and ability to support and guide this new commission, and we look forward to working with him to work to make Chicago a national leader in police reform.”

The new board is the result of an agreement reached last summer, as Lightfoot and grassroots groups had difficulty getting the votes needed to pass a civilian police oversight plan to push competing proposals.

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To reach that agreement, the mayor agreed to oversight panel in setting CPD policy to say more than originally intended, while grassroots activists sought to empower the commission to dismiss the superintendent of police. gave its emphasis.

In addition to the seven-member community commission for public safety and accountability, the ordinance establishing a new civic oversight board would also establish elected three-member councils in each of the city’s 22 police districts, who would advise the commission and designate its members. do. ,

In 2023, during the same election for mayor and city council, voters will choose three members for each of the 22 district councils in the 22 districts of the Chicago Police Department. Those district council members would then nominate candidates for the Community Commission for Public Safety, and the mayor would appoint commission members from among the nominees, subject to the city council’s approval.

The seven-member commission would be empowered to set policies for the CPD, the Civil Office of Police Accountability and the Chicago Police Board.

However, the mayor will be able to veto policies established by the commission, which can only be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the city council.

Subject to the approval of the City Council, the Commission shall also have the authority to appoint the head of the COPA; And for the superintendent of police or the members of the police board to take a vote of no confidence, a two-thirds majority is required from the commission.

If the commission were to approve a no-confidence vote against the superintendent or member of the police board, the city council would vote to recommend to the mayor that he be fired – a recommendation requiring a two-thirds vote from the aldermen. However, the final decision would still be up to the mayor, who would only need to explain the decision in writing within 14 days of the council vote.

In the future, when there is a vacancy for superintendent of police, the commission will conduct a nationwide search for candidates, and present the mayor with a list of three finalists to choose from, essentially now handling the nomination process in the hands of the police. . plank.

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While the commission would not have the direct authority to remove the head of the COPA, members may also hold a no-confidence vote for the agency’s chief administrator, prompting a city council vote to remove the chief administrator by a two-thirds vote. could. ,