Here’s what Chicago’s new district police councils are supposed to do

For a $500 monthly stipend, council members offer communities a step toward policing reform.

SHARE Here’s what Chicago’s new district police councils are supposed to do
The 7th District police station in the Englewood neighborhood.

The 7th District police station in the Englewood neighborhood.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

What are police district councils?

The three-member councils, in each of Chicago’s 22 police districts, add civilian oversight pivotal to restoring trust between citizens and police.

What will they do?

According to the ordinance creating them, they will:

• “Build connections between the police and the community.”

• Collaborate in the development and implementation of community policing initiatives.

• Ensure “regular community input” on community policing issues including “police interactions with youth and people of all immigration statuses.”

• “Develop and expand restorative justice and similar programs.”

• One of the key functions of the councils will be to nominate candidates for the seven-member permanent Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.

How did the councils originate?

A landmark ordinance ushered in the era of civilian police oversight to help restore trust between citizens and police. It calls for the district councils to meet “at least monthly to discuss policing issues.” One or more of its three members will be chosen to participate in quarterly meetings with council members from other districts to “identify trends and concerns.” One or more will also attend annual meetings to “propose priorities” for the citywide commission.

District council members are further empowered to “enlist qualified volunteers” and make “policy recommendations” to the citywide commission. They are asked to “develop and expand restorative justice and similar programs” at the local level, encourage local police officers to “facilitate access to community resources” and, after gathering public input about public safety and policing, report those findings to the seven-member commission.

Who is eligible to join a council?

Candidates must have lived in the district boundaries for a year before the election.

How long do council members serve?

Each member serves four years. No person can serve more than 12 years.

Who elects the councils and when?

The election by voters is the same day as the aldermanic and mayoral elections, on Feb. 28.

Will members be paid?

Each member will receive a monthly stipend of $500.

The Latest
She accepted the jewelry from her longtime BFF to provide strength during her cancer battle, but that turned out to be a lie as well.
Young entrepreneurs and supportive patrons can meet each other halfway on this. Here are some thoughts on how to do that.
Psychologist Sylvia Perry studied conversations between white parents and their school-aged children to understand prejudice.
Father of Checker Taxi murder victim takes vengeance after delay in trial