Aldermen Still Show Concern Over New Police Oversight Group

Lawmakers are still seeking specifics following a meeting with Emanuel, three months after he announced plans to disband the embattled police oversight agency

The initial draft of the mayor’s new police watchdog agency has aldermen saying he’s asking for too much trust of City Hall and not enough details.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) doesn’t have a dedicated budget and it has no independent attorney.

“How do we know what his intent is?” Asked Ald. John Arena.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Chicago Tonight on Tuesday that it's difficult to balance reforming police practices with making sure officers don’t abandon their mission.

“We have to have that integrity, but we have to have a discussion, where it doesn’t demonize them and they pull back from the work that we need them to lean forward into,” Emanuel said.

Ald. Ricardo Munoz expressed concerns over the independence of the new watchdog group.

"We don't want the inspector general and the office of civilian oversight to be coming to the mayor and the city council 'may I please have additional staff,' that's just not independent," Munoz said.

Ald. Leslie Hairston is especially concerned that the mayor has not defined the civilian oversight board, including who will select its members.

“There’s still some components missing, just do this and we’ll come back and fix something later on, and based on what I’ve seen over the past five years, there is no reason for me to believe that that will happen,” Hairston said.

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