The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) is currently seeking applicants interested in becoming an active member of its Community Advisory Council (CAC).

Application Deadline: June 30, 2023


Role & Expectations of the COPA Community Advisory Council:

As an important component of COPA’s community engagement efforts, the CAC serves as a communication conduit between the broader Chicago community and COPA in order to assist the agency in creating and maintaining an effective and transparent dialog with the residents we serve. Council members will share perspectives from the community about the agency’s work, as well as provide input on COPA-related topics that affect City of Chicago residents.


Participation Requirements and Expectations

Meetings and Attendance

  1. The CAC should meet quarterly at COPA’s office unless otherwise noted. The date and times of CAC meetings will be defined by the CAC in consultation with the First Deputy Chief Administrator and/or the Director of Public Affairs.
  2. CAC members are expected to attend all meetings in person except as set forth in subsection (v) below. Designees are not permitted, and joining via phone or web conference is discouraged unless approved by the First Deputy Chief Administrator or Director of Public Affairs. If a CAC member is unable to attend a scheduled meeting, that member should provide prior notice to the First Deputy Chief Administrator or Director of Public Affairs.
  • If a CAC member is unable to attend at least 50% of the scheduled meetings, the CAC member should inform the First Deputy Chief Administrator and/or Director of Public Affairs. If a resolution cannot be found, the member may be asked to step down and be replaced by a community representative whose schedule allows for greater participation.
  1. In extenuating circumstances, CAC members may be asked to step down from the CAC at the discretion of the Chief Administrator and/or the First Deputy Chief Administrator. Circumstances leading to such a request may include unresolvable conflicts of interest, unethical behavior, and/or behavior preventing the CAC from carrying out its work effectively. Holding an unpopular viewpoint is not grounds for removal from the CAC.
  2. In the case that a CAC member becomes involved in a current COPA investigation (e.g., as a complainant, witness, officer, etc.), the member will be asked to temporarily recuse him or herself from the CAC until the investigation is complete. The member can choose to appoint a temporary designee for the period of recusal. This designee must be approved by the Chief Administrator prior to becoming engaged on the CAC.


Expenses and Remuneration

  • CAC members do not receive any remuneration for their participation, nor any other benefits.


Community Advisory Council Composition

  • The CAC will consist of diverse residents of the city of Chicago comprised of 7-15 volunteers (i.e., residents representing communities affected by policing and police misconduct, police reformists, policy advocates, concerned citizens and former law enforcement officials).
  • CAC members shall be chosen at the discretion of the Chief Administrator, with the advice and counsel of the First Deputy Chief Administrator who oversees Communications and External Affairs. The First Deputy Chief Administrator and/or Director of Public Affairs shall accept nominations or suggestions for new CAC members from current CAC members, COPA staff, community members, the Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability, and the Chicago Police Department. CAC terms are one year, with the option to renew at the end of each term if invited by the First Deputy Chief Administrator.


Application Deadline: June 30, 2023


COPA’s Mission:

  • Provide a just and efficient means to fairly and timely conduct investigations within our jurisdiction.
  • Determine whether allegations of police misconduct are well-founded.
  • Identify and address patterns of police misconduct.
  • Make policy recommendations to improve the Chicago Police Department, thereby reducing incidents of police misconduct.

COPA’s Vision:  

  • To be the leader in police accountability by conducting thorough investigations, to advance the culture of policing and build trust in civilian oversight.

Core Values:

  • Integrity: COPA employees are committed to the pursuit of excellence and hold themselves personally accountable for the quality and fairness of their work. Collectively, COPA as an agency has been designed to conduct neutral and fair police misconduct investigations.
  • Transparency: COPA is committed to sharing information about its work to the utmost extent possible while preserving the integrity of the investigative process.
  • Independence: As individuals and collectively, COPA employees carry out their responsibilities without regard for external influences or political consequences.
  • Timeliness: COPA understands the sensitive nature of each incident and the need for timely resolution of all investigations for all involved parties, complainants and officers. COPA strives to conduct investigations that are both thorough and timely.