VALLAS’ STATEMENT:

“The recent letter from the Executive Director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) claims that COPA is not legally qualified to investigate police-related homicides as reported by the Chicago Sun Times and FOP Lodge 7. I find this lack of qualification to be extremely troubling.  This disclosure should make us question COPA’s abilities when investigating other police misconduct matters.”

“Accountability starts at the very top, and the Mayor sets the tone. It is about more than just sound bites; it is about leadership, trustworthiness, transparency and partnership.  It is incomprehensible to form a Police Oversight Agency that is not properly trained and certified when its sole job is to investigate serious allegations against police officers. This very action violates the trustworthiness that fair, thorough and impartial investigations are conducted.”

“Both our hard-working police officers and our communities demand trustworthiness and transparency from its leadership. As Mayor, I will hold COPA investigators to a higher standard of training not only in investigations of police misconduct, but in knowledge of department directives, state/municipal law and basic law enforcement training just as I hold our police officers to a higher standard. I will ensure that COPA will have highly trained and knowledgeable investigators in order to provide citizens and the officers they investigate with thorough and impartial investigations.”