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Good Morning/Afternoon Madame Chairman Austin, Vice Chair Ervin and members of

the City Council. My name is Sydney Roberts, the Chief Administrator for the Civilian
Office of Police Accountability or COPA. Before I begin, I would like to introduce my

Sitting to the right of me is Deputy Chief Administrator Karlo Flowers, General Counsel
Kevin Connor, and Director of News Affairs, Ephraim Eaddy

I am also joined by my staff in box, including:

• Deputy Chief Investigator, Angela Hearts-Glass;

• Deputy Chief Investigator, Andrea Kersten;
• Deputy Chief Investigator, Jay Westensee;
• Director of Information Services, Martin Guzman; and
• Director of Training and Professional Development, Lydia Watts

I want to thank you for the opportunity to present COPA’s 2019 budget request. Police
oversight and police accountability are two of the most critical issues facing this City.
COPA’s vision is to be the leader in police accountability by conducting objective and
thorough investigations that influence policing practices and culture and build our
community’s trust in civilian oversight.

In this last year, COPA has been hard at work building an infrastructure that receives
and investigates complaints against members of the Chicago Police Department (CPD).
We have deployed a robust community engagement process that attempts to equally
engage Chicago residents along with rank & file officers. In addition, we started an
overhaul of our case management system to improve the timeliness of case
investigations and promote information sharing with CPD when necessary.


312.743.COPA (COMPLAINT LINE) | 312.746.3609 (MAIN LINE) | 312.745.3598 (TTY) | WWW.CHICAGOCOPA.ORG
In 2019, COPA will have three key priorities that will capitalize on this year’s progress
to improve the investigative process and to provide the highest quality service to the
residents of Chicago.

Priority 1: Improving the timeliness of our investigations and enhancing our case
closure capacity with an emphasis on reducing the IPRA backlog is a top priority.
Specifically, COPA is seeking to increase the number of complaint intake personnel to
assess jurisdiction of complaints, as well as two Directors of Investigation to increase
case closure. Adding this necessary staff will help ensure we meet the requirements of
the pending consent decree.

Priority 2: We will be able to enhance compliance and transparency with one

additional staff member who will manage consent decree deliverables, and direct
COPA’s transparency project by ensuring timely compliance with the City’s Video
Release Policy.

Priority 3: Continued development of our Case Management System will provide

greater transparency of our investigative data, activity and outcomes to the public. It
will also create technology-based efficiencies to enhance investigative operations and
provide the requisite infrastructure for COPA to capture specific data mandated by the
consent decree.

In preparing this budget we were cognizant of our duty to provide excellent quality
service to the community and CPD. As such, COPA’s 2019 budget is mission critical
and representative of an efficient, responsible and measured approach to move the city
closer to a police oversight system that meets the needs of all Chicagoans, civilian and

We thank you for your time and support and welcome your comments and questions.


312.743.COPA (COMPLAINT LINE) | 312.746.3609 (MAIN LINE) | 312.745.3598 (TTY) | WWW.CHICAGOCOPA.ORG