The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) visited youth on Monday, July 16, 2018 at Mikva Challenge to discuss the importance of police oversight. Mikva Challenge develops youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society.

The youth that participated in a full day of learning activities are part of the Mikva Challenge Youth Safety Advisory Council that advises the Chicago Police Department on ways to improve police-youth relations. Twenty high-school students, ages 15-19 years old heard from members of the investigative, legal and public affairs team at COPA. The activities focused on helping youth understand: (1) The role of COPA and the importance of police oversight and accountability; (2) Understanding the concept of force as defined by CPD; (3) Improving youth positive interactions with law enforcement and COPA as an investigative agency; and (4) Participated in a mock-investigation.

It is COPA’s goal to engage, educate and work in concert with youth to better understand the tenants of police reform.

“Giving the youth of Chicago a platform to voice concerns, be informed and put forth ideas and suggestions on enhancing police accountability is a valued element of COPA’s community engagement initiative and we were pleased with the discourse from today’s event” said Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts.

In March, COPA visited Michele Clark Magnet High School and engaged nearly 90 students and in June the agency visited Carver Military Academy High School and engaged nearly 175 students. COPA presented similar presentations at both schools and plan to continue youth community outreach efforts.

To learn more about COPA

Ephraim Eaddy