By Mark Weyermuller, Opinion Contributor
Chicago will soon add a new layer of government costing millions of dollars in the form of an oversight group to watch the Chicago Police Department. It’s called the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA).
The City of Chicago website explains this new governmental organization, by stating,
“In July 2021, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance creating a new model for police oversight, accountability, and public safety. The ordinance creates two bodies: a citywide Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, with power to advance systemic reform, and District Councils, which will be elected in each police district and work to improve policing and public safety in the district. The Commission and District Councils will bring police officers and Chicago residents together to plan, prioritize, and build mutual trust; strengthen the police accountability system; give Chicagoans a meaningful new role in oversight; and explore and advance alternative effective approaches to public safety.”
In other words, there are 22 Chicago Police Districts, and each will get three new liaisons who will be elected on Tuesday.
That’s 66 new positions in addition to the 50 aldermen they already have – further expanding government’s footprint.
The new 66 locally elected “liaisons” will help citizens and police communicate to solve crime issues and make the city safer, according to sources. Others are saying that it’s just another level of bureaucracy. But it appears more about oversight which could hinder police doing their jobs and could result in more crime.
Illinois already has 43,000 elected officials – the most in the country and each of the 66 Chicago Police liaisons will be given a $500 a month stipend.
The election is Tuesday, April 4, 2023.
I spoke to a Chicago friend who took part in early voting. While five candidates filed for three positions on the local Police District Council, he disclosed that only one candidate secured his vote and he left the remainder of the ballot incomplete. When I pressed for an explanation, my friend answered that he researched the five candidates and discovered that four were openly hostile to law enforcement and were advocates of abolishing the police department or defunding it. Only one candidate backed the Blue.