CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of the Chicago Police Board called on the Emanuel administration to create a full-time of experts who can oversee the sweeping reforms needed at the Chicago Police Department.
Police Board President Lori Lightfoot said Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson must take ownership of reforms in the wake of the U.S. Justice Department’s scathing report on the CPD; whether or not the city successfully negotiates a consent decree with the feds, and regardless of whether there is outside oversight of any future changes.
Lightfoot believes a team of criminal justice experts should be brought in to oversee the process.
“I think it needs to be full-time employees of the city of Chicago; who have the power to work within the Police Department, within the Law Department, with the new COPA [Civilian Office on Police Accountability], with the Police Board. But fundamentally they need to be almost like a SWAT team inside of CPD looking at the various pieces,” she said.
Lightfoot, who headed the mayor’s Police Accountability Task Force, said it doesn’t matter if the Justice Department under President Donald Trump pushes for a court-approved consent decree outlining reforms at CPD. She said change is necessary regardless of the Trump administration’s view.
“The mayor, frankly, needs to take ownership and leadership of this issue, the superintendent needs to take ownership and leadership of this issue, and my view is there needs to be a team of folks who are subject matter experts who can go into the department and start making the changes that need to get done,” she said.
Lightfoot envisioned a full-time team overseeing changes in troubled areas at CPD, like training methods, use of force policies and practices, technology, and more. She is the guest on this weekend’s edition of “At Issue,” airing Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM.