Community Task Force on Policing
With the assistance of facilitators, the community task force on policing reviews the policies, procedures and practices the Elgin Police Department (EPD) employs to determine how EPD can most effectively and equitably deliver law enforcement services to all members of the community. The City intends for the process to openly and objectively examine the means and methods the EPD employs to support and sustain a safe and inclusive community and explores how those means and methods are perceived by the community. The task force’s ultimate objective is to make recommendations for viable solutions to enhance the EPD’s service to and relationship with Elgin’s residents, visitors, businesses and institutions.
Task force members:
|Charles Horton - chair
|Ismael Cordova - vice chair
|Sherman Blair, Jr.
Councilmembers Tish Powell and Toby Shaw are ex-officio, non-voting members.
PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Community Task Force on Policing presented their final recommendations to the Elgin City Council during the September 14, 2022 Council meeting. The presentation can be viewed here.
Meetings are conducted in-person. The public will be able to watch the meetings in-person at City Hall or virtually, live or on demand on the City of Elgin task force YouTube channel.
The council chambers at City Hall (150 Dexter Court) are open for members of the public who wish to provide public comment during that portion of meeting.
Agendas, meeting minutes and recordings will all be available below. Meeting minutes will be posted once approved.
The task force's first four subcommittees begin meeting in January 2022.
The city council approved the creation of a community task force on policing in June 2020. Councilmembers Tish Powell and Toby Shaw, liaisons to the task force, worked with the City Manager Rick Kozal and Police Chief Ana Lalley to identify a facilitator that will assist in creating and managing the task force. Kearns & West, a facilitation and strategic communications firm, was selected to facilitate task force meetings, in partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago.
CRITERIA AND ELIGIBILITY
Anyone who lives in Elgin was eligible to serve on this task force. The City sought a broad and diverse cross-section of perspectives on the issues facing the Elgin community from the task force. According to the 2010 census, Elgin has a population of 108,188. Demographics are 43 percent white; 43 percent Hispanic; seven percent Black; and, five percent Asian. The City intended for task force members to reflect the community’s diversity, in terms of race and ethnicity, socioeconomic levels, professional background and geography.
Applicant were encouraged to provide examples of community/civic involvement, as well as experience and past performance on efforts of similar size, scope, and complexity. Applicants were also encouraged to describe how they have provided balanced and unbiased approaches in diverse and complex environments and circumstances.
SCOPE OF WORK
Third party, neutral facilitators retained by the City will help the task force evaluate and make recommendations to the city council regarding the following matters with respect to the Elgin Police Department:
A. Assessing the effectiveness of the methods the Elgin Police Department (EPD) employs to engage with the community, including identifying opportunities for improving police culture, ensuring accountability and restoring community trust, particularly within communities of color. The assessment will include a peer city comparison, data/statistical analyses, the participation of peer city police agency representatives, community input, and recommendations for training and process improvement. The assessment will also examine how the EPD is being used in the community, identifying which services being provided are working well and which services may be better accomplished by other agencies or civilians. Interviewing members of the community, elected officials, city administrators and EPD members to determine the need for, structure of, and best practices model for a formal civilian review of police matters. The facilitators and task force may also elect to conduct field observations of police operations.
B. Reviewing the adequacy of existing processes for citizen reporting and filing of complaints, including an evaluation of community desires for alternative and redundant processes not maintained by EPD for filing complaints.
C. Reviewing EPD’s progress in achieving best practices and innovative approaches, including but not limited to practices contained within the “Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing” and consistency of EPD’s use of force policies with best practices.
D. Reviewing EPD’s personnel management practices, including hiring, promotion, and provide recommendations on how those processes support recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce.
E. Evaluating current EPD training practices, emphasizing the applicability of these practices to the interaction with the diverse members of the community and the human rights values of Elgin, and making recommendations for changes to the training curricula, methods of delivery, and frequency of training.
F. Reviewing police data to determine, insofar as possible, if disparities exist in interactions with discernable subsets of the community, including race, ethnicity, gender and the LGBT population, mental health, alcohol and/or substance abuse and age/educational status). Determining whether there are procedural, practical or other barriers serving to suppress or discourage the reporting of complaints.
G. Assessing the adequacy of the current staffing status and equipment requirements and making recommendations based on best practices and peer city models.
H. Reviewing demographics and comparing of incident data from “peer” cities to understand how Elgin compares and possibly identify causes, influencing factors, or communities that may offer learning opportunities.
I. Creating a proposed plan for implementing task force recommendations along with mechanisms for the recurring assessment of performance and review and integration of best practices. The facilitators, in conjunction with the task force, will identify the tasks required and associated level of effort, proposed costs, schedule for completion, and the deliverables to be provided.
EXPECTATIONS OF COMMITMENT OF TASK FORCE MEMBERS
It is anticipated that task force members will need to attend a 1-2 hour meeting every other week for the first phase of the task force’s work. That frequency of meetings may become less or more frequent over the course of the task force’s time of service. It is also anticipated that task force members will be asked to review information in between meetings to prepare most effectively for their deliberations.
Task force members will be expected to attend scheduled meetings consistently except in cases of emergency or when the task force member provides advance notice of a conflicting obligation.
Meetings may be conducted in-person, virtually or in a hybrid format where participation can occur either in-person or virtually. The task force will determine the best ways for the meetings to occur after its first meeting, and the public will be able to watch the meetings either in-person or virtually, live or on demand.