Human Services to review EPD Use of Force report, police chief hiring process


Daily file photo by Zack Laurence. An Evanston Police Department squad car. The Human Services Committee will review the department’s Use of Force report on Monday.

Kristina Karisch, City Editor

Aldermen will review the Evanston Police Department’s annual Use of Force report and receive updates to the police chief hiring process at Monday’s Human Services Committee meeting.

In 2018, the Use of Force panel reviewed 24 incidents where a police officer used force in a situation, according to a memorandum submitted by Deputy Police Chief Joseph Dugan. Of these incidents, 22 occurred in 2018 while the other two occurred in 2017.

The memorandum shows that the most common situations where force is used are traffic stops and mental health calls. Additionally, there were 26 different types of force used across the incidents — the most common of which was “weaponless impact,” followed by the use of a “Conducted Electrical Weapon,” or taser.

The memorandum sets out recommendations for future conduct, including a sustained use of body-worn cameras for police officers, and continued crisis intervention and de-escalation training throughout the department.

EPD officers have been wearing body-worn cameras since January, when they were implemented for all patrol, community, tactical, narcotics and traffic officers across the department.

In January, city manager Wally Bobkiewicz said EPD’s goal is to be one of the most transparent police departments in the Chicago area. He said that the cameras will be beneficial both for officers and the general public.

“Whenever there is a question about factual matters regarding an incident … we will have the actual recording in video, ” Bobkiewicz said. “That will be a good thing for all involved.”

Following Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington’s announcement in July that he will retire at the end of this year, Evanston has been gearing up to hire a new chief of police.

Three panels will assist in the city-wide selection process for Eddington’s successor, including a community panel, a staff panel and a so-called “peers panel,” consisting of other police officers, which will all interview candidates for the position.

Rules Committee to consider realignment of city boards

Members of the Rules Committee will consider a staff recommendation for the realignment and restructuring of 17 different city boards, committees and commissions.

This effort will seek to implement STAR — Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities — principles to the city’s committees. Evanston is rated as a 4-STAR city and must engage in a review of its metrics every four years to maintain that rating.

With the restructuring of the boards, committees and commissions, Evanston will follow STAR guidelines more closely. A report submitted to committee members by Bobkiewicz and community development director Johanna Leonard outlines the process for this restructuring.

“BCC work is not contemplated to be eliminated, but rather proposed to be coordinated with similar activities of other BCCs in order to be efficient and engage multiple perspectives on challenging and complex issues,” the report states. “This is demonstrated by many BCCs taking up similar issues or concerns for discussion.”

The process, if approved, is slated to take six to 18 months and involve city staff, aldermen and members of each existing board, commission and committee to ensure that no work is lost during the restructuring process.

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Twitter: @kristinakarisch