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Mayor Rahm Emanuel today designated Ghian Foreman to serve as President of the Chicago Police Board – Chicago’s civilian oversight agency for police accountability. Foreman, who joined the Police Board in 2010 and has been serving as Vice President of the Board, is the Executive Director at Greater Southwest Development Corporation. Mayor Emanuel also nominated Paula Wolff, the Director of the Illinois Justice Project, to fill the newly vacated seat on the Police Board.
“The Chicago Police Department has been making steady progress towards strengthening both transparency and accountability, and the Chicago Police Board plays an important role in helping accelerate that progress,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Ghian Foreman has deep roots in Chicago and has served the Chicago Police Board with distinction and dedication. I am confident he will lead the Board forward responsibly and in the best interest of all Chicagoans, and I thank him for his service to our great city.”
The Police Board, which is comprised of nine members, is part of the City’s multi-tiered police civilian oversight and accountability system. The Police Board, COPA, the Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) each have responsibilities in providing timely, transparent and quality investigations into complaints of alleged police misconduct and recommending discipline when appropriate. The Police Board has the responsibility for the making determinations in the disciplinary process for police officers when the Superintendent of Police files charges to terminate an officer or suspend an officer for more than thirty days, and decide matters in which COPA and CPD do not agree on the level of discipline for a police officer. The Police Board may also provide policy recommendations based on issues and patterns observed in cases.
Foreman joined the Police Board on June 30, 2010, and served as Vice President before getting appointed to President today. He is the Executive Director of Greater Southwest Development Corporation (GSDC), a CDC focused on the improvement of the Southwest Side of Chicago. Prior to joining GSDC, Foreman was the Managing Partner of Maktub Development, a real estate development firm focused on inner city development. In this capacity, Ghian was responsible for $30 million in investments and development in traditionally underserved urban markets throughout the United States. Ghian also previously served as VP of Strategic Acquisitions at HSBC where he oversaw over $3 billion in acquisitions. Ghian is currently also board member of the Rehab Network and the Southwest Organizing Project. He earned his BS from Florida A&M University, and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
“The Chicago Police Department is in the midst of historic reforms, and I appreciate Mayor Emanuel’s confidence in my ability to serve as Police Board President during this important time,” said Ghian Foreman. “As the Department continues down the road of reform, I am proud to serve our great city by leading the Chicago Police Board forward and helping to strengthen accountability and build bonds of trust between officers and residents in every community.”
Also nominated to join the board is Paula Wolff, who will seek City Council approval next month. She is Director of the Illinois Justice Project, a civic organization developing and implementing policy initiatives and programs to improve the criminal justice system by addressing youth trauma and by reducing youth and adult violence, crime and incarceration. Her previous experience includes serving as Director of Policy and Planning for Governor James R. Thompson and serving as President of Governors State University and Chair of the City Colleges Board of Trustees. She previously served as co-chair of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) Chief Administrator Search Committee.
“It is an honor to be called on to serve as a member of the Chicago Police Board,” said Paula Wolff. “If confirmed, I look forward to serving every resident of Chicago and continuing to strengthen the bonds of trust between communities and the officers sworn to protect them. While the Chicago Police Department continues to make important reforms, I look forward to engaging with Chicagoans in every community and doing my part to contribute to a safer and stronger city.”
Police Board hearings of its disciplinary cases are open to the public, and the schedule of upcoming hearings is listed on their website. The Board’s decisions in these cases, which include detailed reasons for its findings, are also posted on its website. These measures promote accountability and increase police officers’ and the public’s confidence in the process for handling allegations of police misconduct.