Jay Westensee, Chief of Staff

Jay Westensee is an attorney with extensive investigative experience focused on advancing accountability, efficiency, and integrity within local government. Prior to joining COPA’s predecessor agency in early 2016, Westensee served as a Chief Investigator with the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General. From 2005 to 2015, Westensee investigated administrative and criminal allegations of misconduct, waste, and inefficiency by City of Chicago employees, contractors, and subcontractors, as well as supervised and collaborated with staff to develop investigative strategy and ensure timely completion of investigative matters. Westensee served as a member of the leadership team responsible for planning and launching COPA in 2017. Westensee has been instrumental in efforts to enhance COPA’s complaint registration systems and intake operations, as well as development and management of key processes related to COPA’s public release of video and other records capturing the City’s most critical incidents involving police officers.

As Chief of Staff, Westensee determines agency strategies and oversees COPA’s infrastructure and operations, as well as ensures financial, staffing, information system and facility needs are met. Westensee also oversees development of internal policy, training and professional development efforts, and leads the Policy, Research and Analysis Division, which makes recommendations to the Chicago Police Department to highlight deficiencies or risk, address patterns or practices of misconduct, and advance the culture of policing.

Westensee holds a B.S. in Justice Systems from Truman State University, an M.A. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University, and a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School.