Chicago Police

Chicago Reaches Contract Deal Through Arbitration With Police Supervisors' Unions, Lightfoot Says

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday that the city had reached a deal that included several police reforms through arbitration in contract negotiations with the unions representing Chicago Police Department leadership.

Those reforms include "allowing anonymous complaints to be investigated, ending the requirement of destroying disciplinary records, preventing the names of complainants from being disclosed to officers until they are interviewed" and others, Lightfoot's office said in a statement.

Arbitrator George Roumell Jr.’s 106-page award sets terms for the city's next contract with three Policemen's Benevolent & Protective Association (PBPA) units that represent more than 1,500 sergeants, lieutenants and captains in the Chicago Police Department, Lightfoot said.

The police supervisors' unions have been bargaining with the city dating back to when she led the city's Police Accountability Task Force more than four years ago, Lightfoot said.

"This is a big historic step forward, and it comes after years of bargaining on measures that I personally championed," Lightfoot said at a news conference Friday afternoon.

"This was a very civil discussion," she continued. "We fought hard, we marshaled the facts, we advocated on behalf of our respective positions, done with an eye toward building bridges not tearing them down."

"These reforms and new measures represent not only the values of our city but also those of the Chicago Police Department,” Chicago Police Supt. David O. Brown said in a statement. “The first step to building trust between officers and the communities they serve is by ensuring accountability and transparency is reflected within our police contracts. Today’s award by the arbitrator ensures just that."

Officers under investigation are not allowed to learn the name of the person complaining against them until immediately prior to their interview at the end of an investigation, per the award, which officials said addresses concerns about retaliation and intimidation regarding complaints.

The new contracts will also require all supervisors to report misconduct and will remove provisions requiring the destruction of disciplinary files and records after five years. The Illinois Supreme Court last week ruled in favor of upholding the city of Chicago’s request to preserve all police misconduct records, a decision widely watched by reform advocates.

Lightfoot's office said the new contracts will allow CPD access to more information about police supervisors' employment while off duty, like places of employment and how many hours they work, bringing them in line with disclosure requirements of other city employees. The award will also allow CPD to impose a 16-hour cap on working any job within a 24-hour period, officials said.

The contracts will next go to the Chicago City Council for ratification, Lightfoot said, as the city continues negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7 over contracts for rank-and-file members.

Friday's announcement came as protests calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality continue across the city and around the world following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

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