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Reinventing Police Oversight: A Public Conversation

  • Experimental Station 6100 South Blackstone Avenue Chicago, IL, 60637 United States (map)

Reinventing Police Oversight: A Public Conversation with Sharon Fairley and Jamie Kalven

In the fall of 2016, the Chicago City Council enacted legislation creating the blueprint for a new police oversight agency - the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA). Now, the city is engaged in the challenging process of transitioning from the existing Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) to COPA - shutting down one agency and simultaneously constructing another, while keeping the doors open throughout the transition. Sharon Fairley, the Chief Administrator of IPRA, is leading the process.

In this public conversation, we will discuss the transition and explore the relationship of the IPRA/COPA process to other critical issues in police reform; among them, the upcoming police union contract negotiations and the Chicago Police Department’s new use of force policy. How are Ms. Fairley and her colleagues addressing the deficiencies in police misconduct investigations highlighted by the recent Department of Justice and Police Accountability Task Force reports? In view of IPRA’s loss of credibility, what is their strategy for establishing public confidence in COPA? 

These are some of the questions this event will address. We hope you will join the conversation.


The Invisible Institute is a journalistic production team on the South Side of Chicago. We build tools - like - to hold public institutions accountable. Among other projects, we orchestrate difficult public conversations, bringing together city officials, journalists and community residents to advance the process of reform.