Sydney Roberts, the chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability in Chicago, has resigned her post after three years, the office announced Wednesday.
Roberts was chosen to lead COPA by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2018, and was confirmed by the Chicago City Council in April of that year.
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve these last three years as COPA’s Chief Administrator” Roberts said in a statement. “I led COPA from the very start of my tenure with a keen awareness of the new agency’s importance in enabling civilian oversight of law enforcement. COPA has assumed an unprecedented role in ensuring law enforcement accountability through investigations of the use of deadly force and other misconduct complaints, transparency of investigative activity, outcomes and data, as well as efforts to forge positive relationships within all of Chicago’s communities.”
COPA was launched in Sept. 2017 to provide civilian oversight to the Chicago Police Department, investigating all allegations of misconduct involving officers. One of the highest-profile jobs of the office is investigating shootings by Chicago police officers.
Roberts says she was proud of the office’s “commitment to transparency” during her tenure at the helm, and that she is leaving “with a heavy heart.”
“Chief Roberts led a team of talented employees at COPA, a new agency that was charged with a critically important mission as our city set out to improve its police accountability system,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Her task was not an easy one, even under normal circumstances. Yet, despite the challenges of this past year, she remained focused on increasing accountability and transparency within CPD and established meaningful relationships with community members, stakeholders and most importantly, impacted parties. I wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
It is unclear who will be named to replace Roberts. That individual will first need to be recommended by the city’s Chief Administrator Selection Search Committee, then appointed by Lightfoot. The city council will then need to confirm Roberts’ replacement to complete the process.