Chicago Civilian Office on Police Accountability to Replace IPRA

The new agency charged with investigating possible police wrongdoing in Chicago will be called the Civilian Office on Police Accountability, aldermen were told Monday.

The new agency charged with investigating possible police wrongdoing in Chicago will be called the Civilian Office on Police Accountability, aldermen were told Monday as they haggled with the mayor's office over final language.

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), leader of the City Council's Progressive Caucus, said he was generally pleased with the draft ordinance he was shown Monday. But there are several points of contention, reports the Chicago Sun Times.

COPA, the new agency that will take the place of the soon-to-be-abolished Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), will not have the authority to hire its own independent counsel, Waguespack said.

Nor would the new agency have a guaranteed percentage of the city budget to prevent the new COPA chief from going hat-in-hand to the mayor and City Council for additional resources, Waguespack said.

The new inspector general in charge of public safety would be chosen by Inspector General Joe Ferguson after a process that includes a nationwide search, the alderman said.

But the new IG would also will not be guaranteed additional resources beyond the guaranteed .01 percent of the overall city budget it already receives.

Still, Waguespack called Mayor Rahm Emanuel's ordinance a "decent start" with the "core fundamentals worked out pretty well."

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