OIG Advisory Determines IPRA Reporting Inaccurate and Incomplete

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 2, 2016

CONTACT: Rachel Leven, (773) 478-0534

OIG Advisory Determines IPRA Reporting Inaccurate and Incomplete

In an advisory released today, the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) determined that the Independent Police Review Authority’s (IPRA) public reporting of officer use of force was inaccurate and incomplete prior to 2015.

Specifically, OIG determined that the numbers provided in IPRA’s quarterly reporting from September 2007 to September 2014 did not match the number of actual incidents for any weapon type. For example, non-hit shootings were under reported by 49 incidents and hit-shooting were over reported by 4. In addition, during the time periods reviewed, IPRA did not follow best practices for use-of-force reporting, for example it,

  • omitted important use-of-force categories, such that its reports did not reflect the full of force options, including chokeholds;
  • did not define all use-of-force categories in a clear and consistent manner, such as distinguishing between intentional and accidental shootings;
  • provided insufficient contextual detail in its report to allow accurate trend analysis.

The advisory also suggests that future reporting should describe use-of-force incidents in a manner that aligns with CPD’s Use of Force Model, distinguishes between dissimilar incidents, and categorizes incidents based on the pertinent contextual factors. To ensure the accuracy of this reporting, the City can, among other things, develop clear policies and procedures for classifying use-of-force incidents and develop a system to ensure the reporting agency has independent and ready access to all use-of-force data.

In response the Mayor’s Office stated that, although the City is in the process of overhauling its police accountability structure, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) will begin releasing its own quarterly reports on use-of-force incidents, and the first will be released in September. The City also states it will ensure whatever agency is ultimately responsible for use-of-force reporting will report in line with the recommendations and best practices outlined in OIG’s advisory. In its response, IPRA states that it is working with the City to ensure that IPRA, or a new civilian police oversight agency, has the appropriate resources to address its data management and reporting needs. It reports that it has also developed a new protocol for categorizing use-of-force incidents.

“As part of this transformational period in police oversight in Chicago,” said Inspector General Joe Ferguson, “detailed and comprehensive use-of-force reporting is crucial to fostering public trust through meaningful transparency and accountability. I urge all constituent components to carry through on their stated commitment to building robust reporting now and forward going under the new oversight structures that are in consideration.”

The full report, and the City’s response to the findings, can be found online at OIG’s website:

http://bit.ly/UFRADV

Follow OIG on Twitter @ChicagoOIG for the latest information on how OIG continues to fight waste, fraud, abuse, and inefficiency in Chicago government.

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