CPD officers reporting misconduct more often, COPA chief says


CHICAGO — Chicago police officers have lodged more than 200 misconduct complaints against their fellow officers through the first three quarters of 2022, the head of the CPD’s oversight agency told members of the City Council on Monday.

Andrea Kersten, the chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, told the Committee on Budget and Government Operations that CPD officers submitted 240 misconduct complaints to the agency in the first nine months of 2022.

That figure has grown rapidly in recent years. In 2017, Kersten said, there were 66 misconduct complaints initiated by CPD officers.

Andrea Kersten, the chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. | Provided photo

“This is an area where we’ve seen a lot of growth,” Kersten said. “It’s about getting at that culture of accountability … A healthy department has to have accountability.”

In the first three quarters of the year, COPA received about 4,000 complaints of officer misconduct, Kersten added, noting that the “number one type of complaint we receive are civil rights abuse allegations.” A little more than 1,700 cases were pending as of Monday.

Meanwhile, a report from the Council Office of Financial Analysis shows COPA’s 2023 budget is, once again, less than what was mandated when the agency was created in 2016. City ordinance provides that COPA’s budget equal 1% of the CPD’s budget.

Next year, the CPD’s budget is expected to grow from $1.88 billion to $1.94 billion. Supt. David Brown said much of that new money will go toward hiring personnel dedicated to consent decree compliance.

COPA’s 2023 budget is expected to be $15 million — about $4 million less than what’s required by city ordinance.

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