May 5, 2021


Today, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s (COPA) Chief Administrator, Sydney Roberts, formerly announced her resignation after serving as COPA’s leader for three years. Roberts, the unanimous choice of the City’s Chief Administrator Selection Search Committee, was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and confirmed by City Council in April 2018.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve these last three years as COPA’s Chief Administrator” said Roberts. “I led COPA from the very start of my tenure with a keen awareness of the new agency’s importance in enabling civilian oversight of law enforcement. COPA has assumed an unprecedented role in ensuring law enforcement accountability through investigations of the use of deadly force and other misconduct complaints, transparency of investigative activity, outcomes and data, as well as efforts to forge positive relationships within all of Chicago’s communities. The progress we have made in improving accountability practices and outcomes in the face of exceptional challenges is a direct result of the dedication of COPA staff. This agency’s staff includes the most talented, committed, and focused group of professionals I have ever worked alongside and I am confident they have what it takes to continue to develop and improve civilian oversight with integrity and excellence.”

“In just three years we have established the essential investigative and legal foundation, as well as the capacity to deliver thorough investigations supported by comprehensive analyses and sound findings and disciplinary recommendations. We have also engaged the residents of the City of Chicago in an unprecedented effort to meet and serve them in the communities where they live. Although I leave with a heavy heart, I am confident that COPA will continue to advance meaningful police reform and accountability through objective investigations, a commitment to transparency, community engagement, and policy recommendations, all of which will improve policing outcomes in our communities,” said Roberts.

“Chief Roberts led a team of talented employees at COPA, a new agency that was charged with a critically important mission as our city set out to improve its police accountability system,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Her task was not an easy one, even under normal circumstances. Yet, despite the challenges of this past year, she remained focused on increasing accountability and transparency within CPD and established meaningful relationships with community members, stakeholders and most importantly, impacted parties. I wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

COPA launched operations in September of 2017 as a more responsive and vigorous civilian oversight agency investigating allegations of misconduct involving members of the Chicago Police Department.

Media Contact: Ephraim Eaddy –