CPD union says IPRA investigators don’t meet state requirements

(CHICAGO) The union that represents Chicago Police officers says that investigators hired by the city to look into officer-involved deaths don’t meet the state’s minimum training requirements, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7 is asking a court to rule that the city is not in compliance with the requirements of the Illinois Police Training (IPTA) and Police and Community Relations Improvement (PCRIA) acts, according to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages and to compel the city to become compliant.

The PCRIA, which took effect Jan. 1, requires at least one of the investigators looking into an officer-involved death be certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board as a lead homicide investigator, or be approved by the board for training of similar standards, the suit states.

The FOP claims the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), which investigates officer-involved deaths in Chicago, does not currently, nor did it before, have lead investigators that met the state’s standards, according to the suit.

IRPA will be replaced by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) in mid-2017, according to the suit, which supposes that investigators currently hired by IPRA will similarly be hired by COPA.

The FOP said it doesn’t believe the state board has certified any of IPRA’s investigators as “lead homicide investigators,” according to the suit. The state also has not approved the training obtained by IPRA investigators that would meet the requirements for them to serve as lead investigators, the suit said.

The FOP reached out to the city with their concerns, but city officials told them they believe IPRA’s investigators are in compliance, the suit said.

A request for comment with the city was not immediately returned Thursday night.