Aldermen will schedule a hearing “in the upcoming months” on two competing ordinances to dissolve and replace the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), the agency in charge of investigating allegations of police misconduct.
Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30), Chairman of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, and Ald. Carrie Austin (34), Chairman of the Council’s Budget Committee, sent out a vaguely worded press release yesterday to explain a hearing will be held, eventually. No date was mentioned. “We believe that we are at an incredibly important moment in our city’s history as we work to revamp Chicago’s police accountability structure,” the press release states before referencing Ald. Leslie Hairston’s (5) proposed ordinance to abolish IPRA and replace it with a stronger agency run by a new Independent Citizen Police Monitor, and Ald. Jason Ervin’s (28) plan to put IPRA under the control of the city’s Inspector General.
Noting that those ordinances have “started the conversations for structural reforms”, Reboyras and Austin add the two ordinances will “become part of the larger framework for the final ordinance.”
“Building on that, we will continue to work with our colleagues and members of the public in order to ensure the ordinance reflects the input of a wide range of stakeholders,” the release said.
Last month, the Mayor’s staff held private briefings with aldermen to discuss a replacement for IPRA. But those conversations have somewhat waned, according to Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29). He told Aldertrack yesterday that he hasn’t heard of any meetings since, while also raising doubts that IPRA will even be replaced. He expects the changes will be superficial, and that most of the staff, including new IPRA Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley, will stay on the payroll.