CHICAGO — Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said Monday that an additional $36 million allotted to the police department in next year’s city budget will go towards hiring more civilian employees in the CPD’s Office of Constitutional Policing & Reform.
The push to hire more civilians would allow the department to reassign some officers to the street. The Office of Constitutional Policing & Reform is staffed by about 500 employees — 400 of which are sworn officers — and is responsible for overseeing the CPD’s efforts to come into compliance with its federal consent decree, which was spurred by the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a CPD officer in 2014.
“The hardest part of consent decree compliance is actually ahead of us, which is operational compliance, and that’s why we need these funds, so that we can have the capacity — but civilian capacity, not sworn — to continue to improve our consent decree compliance,” Brown said during a press conference Monday.
Brown fired Robert Boik, the office’s executive director and Brown’s former chief of staff, last August after Boik protested a plan to reassign about four dozen officers out of the office and back to the street.
The independent monitoring team that assesses the CPD’s consent decree compliance is expected this month to release its sixth semi-annual report on CPD reform efforts. In its fifth semi-annual report, which graded the CPD’s adherence to the consent decree between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, the independent monitoring team assessed the CPD’s compliance with 523 paragraphs of the 799-paragraph agreement.
The monitoring team, led by former federal prosecutor Maggie Hickey, found the police department was at varying levels of compliance in 380 of those paragraphs — about 72 percent.
That’s an uptick from the fourth reporting, when the department was found to be complying with 52 percent of 507 paragraphs that were assessed. CPD Supt. David Brown said that the increase in adherence to the consent decree was a sign of “real and significant progress.”
Specifically, in the fifth reporting period, the CPD was in preliminary compliance in 281 paragraphs, secondary compliance in 76 paragraphs and full compliance in 23 paragraphs. Preliminary compliance means that the CPD has instituted a training policy with respect to a specific paragraph in the decree. Secondary compliance means that the department is conducting training on that policy. And full compliance refers to “adherence to policies within day-to-day operations,” according to the independent monitoring team.