CHICAGO - The official overseeing court-ordered reforms within the Chicago Police Department has been fired by Supt. David Brown after complaining about deep cuts to his office, the Sun-Times has learned.
Robert Boik, who has served in high-ranking civilian roles within the department since 2016, was dismissed after sending an email criticizing Brown’s decision to move 46 officers under Boik’s supervision to the Bureau of Patrol as part of a larger reorganization, according to sources.
In the email sent Monday, Boik noted that he had just recently proposed sending 23 officers to the police academy as "trainers" so the department would meet its "court-mandated obligation to provide 40 hours of in-service training to every sworn officer."
Without those officers, there was "no way" the department could meet a March 3 deadline, he wrote.
"My request was not made lightly and was only due to what I believe is my professional obligation to meet the demands of the consent decree and the needs of our officers," Boik stated to Brown.
"Rather than approving the request for the 23 individuals and putting us on course to complete our 40-hours of in-service training, the Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform was told to send 46 individuals back to patrol," Boik complained.
Boik warned the move could have grave implications for the department’s compliance with the consent decree. "It is my view that the ramifications of this move more than outweigh the desire to send 46 officers back to patrol," he wrote.
Boik’s termination was effective immediately Tuesday, a source said. Boik declined to comment. A spokesman for Brown didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
A former high-ranking official for Chicago Public Schools, Boik served as chief of staff to three police superintendents, including Brown. He was tapped in October 2020 as the executive director of the department’s Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform, which is charged with implementing a federal consent decree prompted by the police killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
A spokeswoman for Maggie Hickey, the independent monitor tracking the city’s compliance with the consent decree, declined to comment.
But some former high-ranking city officials rushed to Boik’s defense — and raised serious questions about his termination.
Former acting Supt. Charlie Beck said he has no idea why Boik was fired. He only knows that Boik’s exit will be a serious setback in the drive to reach the level of compliance needed to get out from under the costs and constraints of the consent decree.
"Bob was one of my favorite people at CPD," said Beck, a retired Los Angeles police chief who held down the top police job here for five months after Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired former Police Supt. Eddie Johnson. "He was very reform-minded and very progressive in policing. He was a real asset to me.
"I have a lot of respect for Bob. It’s a big loss for CPD. Their goal of reaching compliance, in my estimation, will be much more difficult without Bob."
During his tenure as acting superintendent, Beck said one of the things the department needed most were "professional people with outside experience."
"You need voices from the outside to be involved in decisions," Beck continued. "That’s what I found Bob to be: Somebody who had real-world experience in other things and, as such, brought a lot to the table."
Maurice Classen, the police department’s former director of strategy and Lightfoot’s first chief of staff, expressed concerns about the department’s road to reform.
"From helping to establish the Strategic Decision Support Centers and standing up the reform structure at CPD, Bob Boik has served the city of Chicago with selflessness [and] professionalism," Classen said. "His departure from CPD is a troubling development for the future of the department and constitutional policing in Chicago.
"I’m sure Bob will go on to do tremendous things in other places," he added. "But where CPD goes from here is an open question."