CHICAGO - The Police Accountability Task Force (PATF) believes that community engagement is critical to its work and will hold four Community Forums across Chicago in February to hear from Chicago residents before making their recommendations for change within the Chicago Police Department. The first forum, hosted by Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, will be held Tuesday, February 2 at 2622 W. Jackson Blvd at the JLM Life Center in Chicago.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed the Task Force to develop detailed, comprehensive findings with specific recommendations for change in the short, interim and long-term in five important areas of reform: Community-Police Relations, De-escalation, Early Intervention & Personnel, Officer Identity & Video Release Policies, and Police Oversight & Accountability.
"We are at a critical moment in Chicago's history and one that, while difficult, presents great opportunity," said Lori Lightfoot, chair of the Police Accountability Task Force. "The job of the Task Force is to lay the foundation that will restore trust between the police and the communities they serve by facing hard truths and creating a roadmap for real and lasting transparency, respectful engagement, accountability and constructive change. To do that effectively, we need to hear from Chicago's community residents," Lightfoot concluded.
The recommendations will be presented to the Mayor and City Council by March 31, 2016.
The Community Forums will provide Chicago residents with the opportunity to submit public and written comments to the Task Force on how to improve the accountability, oversight and training of Chicago's police officers. All public comments will be reviewed and serve an important role in the process of recommending reforms.
The Task Force's website, which is now live, will be the primary vehicle to learn more about the work of the Task Force, stay up-to-date on the latest information and ask questions and/or provide comments to Task Force members.
The public is encouraged to submit their comments by the end of February so that the Task Force has time to review and incorporate input into the final reform recommendations due at the end of March.
For more information and to obtain updates about the Public Accountability Task Force, visit www.ChicagoPATF.org