COPA is the city’s investigatory body for several broad categories of police misconduct, including excessive force, death in custody, domestic violence and improper search and seizure accusations. COPA only has investigatory authority over its specifically assigned categories of wrongdoing; all other accusations are investigated by the Chicago Police Department’s internal affairs bureau. A breakdown of which issues fall within COPA’s remit and which remain with internal affairs can be found on COPA’s website.
Snapshot: Appropriation & Staffing Changes from 2023 Budget
|2023 Budgeted||2024 Proposed||Net Change||Percent Change|
|Positions & FTEs||154||157||3||1.9%|
- COPA’s appropriations are up 11.4% over the previous year, a higher rate of growth than the departmental and citywide averages.
- Headcount is up 3 positions, a 1.9% change, slower than the departmental average but slightly higher than the citywide average of 0.9%.
- Overall, non-salary appropriations saw relatively small changes, with a $50,000 increase in consent decree spending and a new $50,000 appropriation for students as trainees the largest appropriation increases.
- COPA’s appropriations include roughly $1 million for consent decree spending, one of four departments with a consent decree appropriation (the others being the Chicago Police Department, Office of Public Safety Administration, and Office of Emergency Management and Communication.)
Historical data includes appropriations and positions from COPA’s predecessor IPRA. The 2017 budget was the first to feature COPA in its current incarnation, and included a significant increase in budgeted appropriations and positions. Following the initial COPA budget, staffing levels became relatively stable and have remained at a low growth rate since.
From 2011-2023, the department budget grew at an average rate of 7.7% per year. Departmental budgets overall increased an average of 5.9% per year over the same time period, while the total city budget including Finance General appropriations grew at an average rate of 8.2% annually.
The department’s budgeted workforce grew at a rate of roughly 4.5% annually from 2011-2023. Overall budgeted positions for the city remained relatively flat across the same time period, with minor year-to-year fluctuations averaging out to an overall growth rate of -0.04%.’
In the proposed 2024 budget, COPA’s appropriations would increase 11.4% over the previous year, a higher rate of growth than the departmental and citywide averages. Staffing would increase 3 positions, a 1.9% change, slower than the departmental average but slightly higher than the citywide average of 0.9%.
Apart from title changes, COPA’s most significant staffing changes in the 2024 budget proposal are the addition of three new positions: a Community Outreach Coordinator, Director of Mediation, and Senior Equity Officer.
As with most departments, COPA’s budget primarily consists of staff and salary related expenses. The largest non-personnel expenses in the proposed 2024 budget are roughly $1 million in consent decree spending and $712,500 in outside contracting.
COPA is one of four departments with a consent decree appropriation, the others being the Chicago Police Department, Office of Public Safety Administration, and Office of Emergency Management and Communication. All told, the 2024 budget includes roughly $18.1 million in consent decree spending.
Change from Previous Year
The largest non-salary increases in COPA appropriations in the proposed 2024 budget are a $50,000 increase in consent decree spending and a new $50,000 appropriation for students as trainees.