UCPD creates new role for maintaining accountability

By William Rhee

A new position created on November 3 within the Department of Safety and Security will conduct investigations into complaints about the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) and attempt to ensure that the University maintains consistent disciplinary standards.

The Director of Professional Accountability will work independently of the UCPD and report directly to Marlon Lynch, Chief of Police and the Associate Vice President for Safety, Security, and Civic Affairs.

This position will evaluate and recommend ways to improve the complaint review process, making recommendations about the settlement of cases, and ensuring the University’s overall compliance with the Clery Act and its associated regulations. The Clery Act requires all institutions of higher education that participate in federal financial aid programs to log and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.

University spokesman Jeremy Manier said the director will work with the already established Independent Review Committee (IRC). “This role will have constant interaction with the IRC regarding complaint review investigations. They will be available to answer questions about the investigations, general orders, and other relevant needs of the IRC,” Manier wrote in an email. The IRC reviews all complaints made against University police and reports its findings and recommendations to the Provost and Vice President for Civic Engagement.