Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates allegations of wrongdoing against police, is under fire for investigations that have lingered for years, reports the city’s Tribune. In a few cases, the delays have jeopardized the firings of police officers that the superintendent had deemed unfit to serve. The authority was created five years ago to replace the often-maligned Office of Professional Standards. IPRA inherited its caseload and was charged with professionalizing investigations and restoring the public’s trust that allegations against police officers would be taken seriously.
Earlier this month, the city appealed a court ruling that reversed the firing of two other officers accused of an off-duty attack in 2006 because their case also took too long to resolve. They were returned to duty. The Fraternal Order of Police intends to raise the issue Monday at an arbitration hearing, saying the disciplinary investigations are too long and violate its contract with the city. And attorneys who regularly defend Chicago police officers accused of wrongdoing have filed a flurry of motions to dismiss the cases because of delays as long as five years. But Ilana Rosenzweig, IPRA’s head, defends her record, saying the investigations are often complex and need to be thorough.