CHICAGO – It was a busy day for the Chicago city council. The important job of civilian police oversight chief was approved in addition to big fines for parking violations downtown and another anti-smoking ordinance.
Saying the entire city is counting on her, aldermen approved Sydney Roberts as the new head of Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
“The City of Chicago, its residents, and law enforcement deserve a robust police oversight body,” Roberts said.
Director of the Illinois Secretary of State Police, Roberts takes over for Sharon Fairley, who resigned to launch an unsuccessful bid for Illinois Attorney General.
City council is still weighing what powers to give the civilian oversight board, but Roberts now takes on the enormous job.
Roberts vows fair and independent investigations of police misconduct.
“Building the community’s trust is one of our primary goals, and that’s going to take some time,” Roberts said.
Also today the aldermen signed off on placing health-risk warning signs on the doors of all tobacco dealers. The signs will include a phone number smokers can call for help quitting the habit. This is the latest in Mayor Emanuel’s crusade against the tobacco industry.
Also approved was an eye-popping new fine for those who park illegally downtown. Hoping to encourage delivery drivers to use commercial loading zones, the aldermen have tripling fines for double parking downtown. The fine goes from $100 to $300.
The was also a tribute to Loyola’s Final Four basketball team, Coach Porter Moser and Chaplain Sister Jean.
“ No one -- indeed not even Sister Jean -- imagined that Loyola would make the Final Four and yet Loyola’s team broke hearts and brackets,” said Alderman Joe Moore.
The Council also took efforts to modernize O’Hare.