In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Chicago has joined the State of Illinois in issuing a Stay at Home order effective Saturday, March 21st at 5pm CT. In addition, City of Chicago facilities are closed to the public. Staff are prioritizing essential services to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees. As such, we may be delayed in responding to non-essential inquiries and service requests. To stay up to date on the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 response, please visit the City Coronavirus Response Center site.
I was recently made aware of a practice whereby community members who signed up to speak at the monthly Police Board Public Meetings had their criminal backgrounds checked as well as a check to see if anyone had been a victim of a crime.
This practice, which this Board finds incomprehensible, began several years ago for reasons we are unable to trace back at this time. However, we have requested that CPD immediately halt this practice, as it goes against the purpose and nature of our public meetings. It is of utmost importance that all community members not feel intimidated and know that their concerns and questions deserve to be heard regardless of their backgrounds.
I want to be clear, none of the current or immediate past Board members had knowledge of this practice, nor were we provided with the information that resulted from these background checks.
Furthermore, we are changing our sign-up policy whereby individuals were required to sign-up to speak by the day before the public meetings. Moving forward, sign up for public speakers will be extended until 15 minutes prior to the start of our scheduled meeting.