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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.

What is the CCPSA?

The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) is a new model for police oversight, accountability, and public safety. This new commission was created by the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance passed in July 2021 by the Chicago City Council. The CCPSA is appointed citywide and has broad power to advance systemic reform. The Commission’s powers include playing a central role in selecting and removing the Police Superintendent, COPA Chief Administrator, and Police Board members; setting; and establishing goals and evaluating progress for CPD, COPA, and the Police Board.

Commission Role

  • has the final say over policy for the Chicago Police Department, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), and the Police Board, and can write policies for these bodies

  • monitors CPD’s compliance with policies

  • can appoint and remove the head of COPA. Can recommend, and assess the qualifications of, the Superintendent and members of the Police Board

  • can recommend changes to the budget, and ways to ensure CPD resources are used appropriately

  • can recommend community and evidence-based solutions to violence

  • has access to information, data, documents, and records necessary to fulfill these duties

  • can issue a vote of no confidence in the Superintendent, Police Board president, or COPA chief

  • gathers community input from the District Councils, and from engaging in open, democratic practices like public comment and petitioning

  • When District Councils are elected in the February 2023 elections, Commissioners will be nominated by members of the District Councils.

District Councils

District Councils will be created in each of the City’s 22 police districts. They will be made up of three people elected in regular municipal elections every four years, though anyone can participate in District Council work. The first District Council elections will be in February 2023, when Chicagoans will also vote for candidates for aldermen and the mayor.


The District Councils will have several key roles:

  • Building stronger connections between the police and the community at the district level, where the community is a true partner in making the neighborhood safer. 

  • Collaborating in the development and implementation of community policing initiatives.

  • Holding monthly public meetings where residents can work with the police on local initiatives rooted in community concerns and priorities.

  • Working with the community to get input on police department policies and practices.

  • Ensuring that the CCPSA gets input from the community so that the Commission’s work will be based on what people in neighborhoods across the city are concerned about.

  • Nominating members of the Community Commission. Anyone who serves on the Community Commission must first have the support of elected District Council members.

  • Attend quarterly meetings of district councils across Chicago.

  • Report its findings to the CCPSA.

Want to learn more? Check out the ECPS website here. For more information on the ordinance, click here.

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