Community Engagement on Search Warrants Policy

Overview

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is committed to community engagement on its Search Warrant policy.

From November 1st, 2022 until December 31st, 2022 CPD is seeking community review, input and feedback on its Search Warrant policy. After the community engagement period concludes, CPD will conduct an analysis of the feedback received and use it to inform revisions on the policy. CPD will post a draft of the updated policy to its website in early 2023 and will invite the community to review the policy and provide additional feedback. Following any additional revisions, CPD anticipates implementing the updated policy in the summer of 2023.

Upon the implementation of the updated Search Warrant policy, CPD will issue a public report detailing its engagement process, a summary of community feedback provided and how the feedback was used to inform revisions to the policy.

About the Policy

Background

In January 2017, The United States Department of Justice concluded a yearlong civil rights investigation into the Chicago Police Department. The investigation revealed serious problems within the nation’s second-largest police department, including evidence of discriminatory policing.

This led a federal judge to authorize a consent decree, which was approved on January 31, 2019. In March 2022, a court order (Stipulation Regarding Search Warrants) was approved by the Judge overseeing the Consent Decree adding CPD’s search warrant policy to the provisions of the Consent Decree. Among the many requirements, this addition to the Consent Decree mandates that the Chicago Police Department:

• Ensure that its policies and practices, including obtaining and serving search warrants, prohibit discrimination on the basis of any protected class under federal, state, and local law, including race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, source of income, credit history, criminal record, or criminal history.
• Require that all CPD members interact with all members of the public in an unbiased, fair, and respectful manner, including during the service of a search warrant.

Recent Search Warrant Policy Revisions

In early 2021, CPD issued a revised Search Warrant policy that incorporated community feedback obtained at the end of 2020 and early 2021. Among the reforms announced at that time and that remain in CPD’s Search Warrant policy include:

• Requiring an independent investigation to verify and corroborate information used to develop the search warrant.
• Requiring all search warrants at locations where people may be present to be approved by a senior exempt level CPD supervisor, the rank of Deputy Chief or above.
• Limiting No-Knock Search Warrants only to when there is a danger to the life or safety of officers or another person.
• Requiring any search warrant service planning to include the identification of and plan for vulnerable persons who may be present at the location for the service of the search warrant.
• Specifically defining a “wrong raid” (a search warrant served at a wrong address or differs from the facts used to obtain the warrant) and requiring a misconduct investigation and after-action review for all “wrong raids.”
• Requiring a supervisor the rank of lieutenant or above and a female officer to be on-scene for all search warrants.
• Requiring all officers participating in serving a search warrant to wear and activate a body-worn camera.

Get Involved

CPD is offering a number of ways you can provide your input and feedback on its Search Warrant policy.

Public Comment on Policy

The Chicago Police Department invites you to review the draft policy and make comments and recommendations on it. To read the policies and provide your feedback.

Click here to read the policy and provide your feedback.

Public comments will be open until December 31st, 2022.

Public Input Form

CPD has launched an anonymous input form that asks various questions around search warrants. These questions will allow you to provide feedback on specific components of the policies. Responses to this form are entirely anonymous.

Click Here to Provide Your Anonymous Input

Community Conversations

The Chicago Police Department’s Office of Community Policing will conduct two virtual community conversations. The community conversations will be open to the general public and serve as an opportunity to provide input on the Search Warrant policy. Your input is very much welcome. Please RSVP to attend one of the two planned meetings:

• Community Conversation 1 Tuesday, November 15th @ 6:30pm Click Here to Register

• Community Conversation 2 Thursday, December 8th @ 6:30pm Click Here to Register

Due to capacity, community conversations will be limited to 200 participants per conversation. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis.

Deliberative Dialogues

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is inviting community groups and organizations interested in providing feedback on its Search Warrant policy to meet with members from the Chicago Police Department’s Office of Community Policing and Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform.

Deliberative dialogues ideally involves representatives of various points of view in the community, including those who have been historically underrepresented in public forums and are aimed at understanding other perspectives on important topics or challenges. During deliberative dialogues, participants are invited to share their personal experiences on the issue and engage in a discussion of ideas on resolutions or needed changes in a safe, neutral setting. These dialogues may not always produce a consensus in the end, but the group will ideally understand the complexities of the issue and have a more informed opinion of it. CPD believes these types of dialogues are incredibly helpful at ensuring CPD members understand the perspectives and experiences of the community as policies continue to be revised.

What we ask of your organization:

• Review the draft Search Warrant policy
• Identify components within the policies that your organization would like to address.
• Have a collaborative and respectful mindset that enables productive dialogue between your organization and CPD.

Meetings will begin after November 1st, 2022 and will be offered until December 30th, 2022. Organizations interested in participating in a deliberative dialogue must sign-up by December 5th, 2022.

Due to the high demand for meetings, CPD will accommodate as many meeting requests as possible but may not get to every request before December 30th, 2022.

Click here to sign up for a deliberative dialogue

If you have additional questions, please contact [email protected]