City Council poised to vote on compromise plan for civilian oversight of police

City Hall
Chicago City Hall Photo credit WBBM Newsradio

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — In a long and rare evening hearing, a City Council committee on Tuesday approved a compromise plan creating a civilian police oversight panel.

The vote was close by Chicago City Council standards. The Public Safety Committee voted 12-8 to approve creation of a seven-member civilian commission with a voice on police policies and the hiring of the police superintendent, among other powers.

Ald. Leslie Hairston, 5th Ward, saids she was encouraged that activist groups and Mayor Lightfoot came to terms on the measure.

“We have come up with something and a formula that I believe works for the citizens of Chicago,” she said.

But 45th Ward Ald. James Gardiner, a former firefighter, expressed a concern voiced by others on the committee — that officers will be unable to do their jobs as oversight grows.

Similarly, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara said in the public comments period that a civilian oversight panel would be the tipping point.

West Side Ald. Emma Mitts countered that the current system isn’t working.

The full Chicago City Council could vote on the ordinance when aldermen meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday.