On May 5, 2021, Sydney Roberts, the chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) in Chicago, resigned after three years on the job. National Police Support Fund worked closely with Roberts on several initiatives in Chicago, and we are very sorry to see her go.
COPA started in September 2017 as a way to give civilians oversight on the Chicago Police Department and access to investigate allegations of misconduct by the city’s police officers, including high-profile incidents like police-involved shootings.
Roberts was appointed to lead the office in 2018 by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and operated with a commitment to serve the public while also recognizing the important role that police play in Chicago’s communities. She maintained what she describes as “commitment to transparency” in a complex and high-profile job.
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve these last three years as COPA’s Chief Administrator,” Roberts said in a statement. “I led COPA from the very start of my tenure with a keen awareness of the new agency’s importance in enabling civilian oversight of law enforcement. COPA has assumed an unprecedented role in ensuring law enforcement accountability through investigations of the use of deadly force and other misconduct complaints, transparency of investigative activity, outcomes and data, as well as efforts to forge positive relationships within all of Chicago’s communities.”
Roberts’s resignation comes at a time when Chicago’s police are under tremendous pressure from anti-police politicians like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County DA Kim Foxx who are destroying police departments and disrespecting the officers who serve. Without a strong leader in the COPA, these so-called “leaders” can run amok and advance their anti-police agenda without public scrutiny.
It’s unclear why Roberts decided to resign from the position. Lightfoot’s office will be responsible for appointing a new COPA director, who must then be confirmed by City Council. Now is the time for grassroots police supporters to speak up in support of a new COPA administrator who will serve the best interests of the people, not the politicians.
Image Credit: Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash
The disrespect for police demonstrated by Chicago elected officials like Mayor Lori Lightfoot and anti-police activists is extending to the department’s everyday operations, resulting in a record number of officers shot or shot at on the job.