The Coalition for Police Contracts Accountability (CPCA) proposes critical changes to the police union contracts and mobilizes communities to demand that new contracts between the City of Chicago and police unions don’t stand in the way of holding officers accountable. We are composed of community, policy, and civil rights organizations taking action to ensure police accountability in the city of Chicago.
Why Police Contracts?
For decades, the Chicago Police department has had a “code of silence” that allows officers to hide misconduct. The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 7 and the Illinois Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (PBPA) union contracts with the City of Chicago effectively make this “code of silence” official policy, making it too hard to identify police misconduct and too easy for police officers to lie about it and hide it. Both the Department of Justice and the Police Accountability Task Force have raised serious concerns about provisions in the police contracts, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has acknowledged that the "code of silence" is a barrier to reform of the police department. Until the harmful provisions in the police contracts are changed, police officers will continue to operate under a separate system of justice than civilians.
The contracts for sergeants, lieutenants and captains – all represented by the PBPA – have all expired, and the FOP contract will expire this summer. A new contract can only be negotiated between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police unions, and then the City Council must vote to approve it.
As a coalition of concerned community and policy stakeholders, we call on the mayor and city council to ensure that contract provisions enabling the code of silence will be brought to an end by adopting our 14-point recommendations to:
- Make it easier to identify police misconduct
- Prohibit officials from ignoring and destroying evidence of misconduct
- Make it easier to investigate and be transparent about misconduct
- Make it harder for police officers to lie about misconduct
- Stop repeat abusers from costing taxpayers money without accountability
The following organizations have endorsed the CPCA:
ACLU of Illinois • Action Now Institute• A Just Harvest • Better Government Association • BPI • BYP100 • Chicago Council of Lawyers • Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights • Chicago Urban League • Community Renewal Society • Enlace • Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) • MALDEF • NAACP Chicago Westside • ONE Northside • Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) • Southsiders Organized for Unity & Liberation (SOUL) • Workers Center for Racial Justice