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Mayor Emanuel Nominates Lori Lightford to Chair the Chicago Police Board

Lee Edwards | 6/3/2015, 12:39 p.m.
Lori Lightfoot, will be the next chair of the Chicago Police Board (CPB) replacing, Demetrius Carney. Lightfoot was recently appointed ...
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Northern District of Illinois Lori Lightford has been appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Chair of the Chicago Police Board.

Lori Lightfoot, will be the next chair of the Chicago Police Board (CPB) replacing, Demetrius Carney. Lightfoot was recently appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The Chicago Police Board is an independent, nine member, civilian body that oversees select activities of the Chicago Police Department appointed by the mayor with the consent of the City Council. CPB Board members may not have prior law enforcement experience.

“The Police Board is a unique and important body that provides residents with a voice in the police disciplinary process, ensuring it is not only fair and transparent but also that it works for the people of Chicago and our officers,” said Emanuel. “As a former federal prosecutor, and with a deep background in public safety, Lori Lightfoot brings an important perspective and a record of impartiality to Chicago’s Police Board that will serve our city well. Demetrius Carney has devoted his time and his energy to the people of Chicago and to the Police Board for years, and I want to thank him for his service to our city.”

The Chicago Police Board’s primary powers and responsibilities include:

• Deciding disciplinary cases involving allegations of police misconduct.

• Holding monthly public meetings that provide an opportunity for all members of the public to present questions and comments to the Board, the Superintendent of Police, and the Chief Administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority.

• Nominating candidates for the position of Superintendent of Police to the Mayor.

• Adopting the Rules and Regulations for the governance of the Police Department.

The Chicago Police Board differs from the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA). IPRA is responsible for conducting investigations into allegations made against Chicago Police Department officers in cases involving deaths in police custody, domestic violence, verbal abuse including bias and coercion, use of excessive force, police shootings where an officer discharges his/her weapon and strikes someone, and off-duty misconduct relating to excessive force and weapon discharge. IPRA is staffed entirely by civilian investigators.

Lightfoot, a partner with the law firm Mayer Brown, has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Northern District of Illinois (1996–2002), as General Counsel and Chief of Staff at the Chicago Office of Emergency Management, and as Chief Administrator at the Office of Professional Standards – the internal Police Department organization that investigated allegations of excessive force and misconduct.

“The Police Board serves the entire city – residents and officers alike – and exists to give our residents a voice in the disciplinary system while ensuring it is fair and transparent for everyone,” said Lightfoot. “I am honored the Mayor asked me to take on this important role and look forward to serving the people of Chicago."

Demetrius Carney steps down after serving as Chair of the Police Board since 1996 during which time he has considered more than 13,000 police discipline cases and worked to ensure the Board carries out its responsibilities with impartiality, due process, and transparency while providing a forum for residents to voice their concerns.

The next Chicago Police Board meeting is June 18, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. at Chicago Public Safety Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave. Prior sign-up is required to speak before the board. Contact the Board's office at (312) 742-4194 by 4:30 p.m. on the day before the meeting to add your name to the list of speakers.

To learn more about the Chicago Police Board visit http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cpb.html.

To learn more about the Independent Police Review Authority visit http://www.iprachicago.org/.