Police Oversight Agencies in 100 Largest U.S. Cities

By Sharon R. Fairley

This site reports on an internet survey conducted January through August 2019 of the government bodies responsible for civilian oversight of municipal law enforcement entities in the top 100 U.S. jurisdictions based on population. The survey is an attempt to identify the entities and document the forms of civilian oversight in each city.

In addition to documenting the existence and functions of the entities in each city, the survey, which is based on information available on the internet at the time of data gathering, was also conducted to assess the prevalence of the various forms of civilian oversight across the largest U.S. cities. Based on online information, the survey identifies each civilian oversight agency as providing one or more of the following seven civilian oversight functions: Investigative, Audit, Review, Adjudicative, Advisory, Supervisory, and Appeals. The information on each agency has been compiled to shed light on the prevalence of the various forms of civilian oversight of policing that the largest U.S. cities employ.

The results show that a majority of the top 100 U.S. jurisdictions employ at least one form of civilian oversight of police, and that many jurisdictions have developed more complex, multi-functional systems as dozens of municipalities either started up or enhanced the powers of existing civilian oversight systems in the preceding five years.

Read the full publication here

Oversight Agencies in 100 Largest Cities

Population data sourced from 2017 United States Census.

-
+

Color lightens with number of oversight functions city employs.

-
+

Size increases with city's population.

PopulationCity
  • 8,622,698

    New York, NY

    8,622,698

    Investigative: Civilian Complaint Review Board, Inspector General for NYPD

    Review: Civilian Complaint Review Board, Inspector General for NYPD

    Audit: Inspector General for NYPD

    Adjudicative: None

    Appeals: None

    Supervisory: None

    Advisory: Inspector General for NYPD

  • 3,999,759

    Los Angeles, CA

    3,999,759

    Investigative: None

    Review: LAPD Office of the Inspector General

    Audit: None

    Adjudicative: None

    Appeals: Board of Rights

    Supervisory: Board of Police Commissioners

    Advisory: None

  • 2,716,450

    Chicago, IL

    2,716,450

    Investigative: Civilian Office of Police Accountability

    Review: OIG/Public Safety Inspector General

    Audit: OIG/Public Safety Inspector General

    Adjudicative: Chicago Police Board

    Appeals: None

    Supervisory: Chicago Police Board

    Advisory: Civilian Office of Police Accountability , OIG/Public Safety Inspector General, Chicago Police Board

  • 2,312,717

    Houston, TX

    2,312,717

    Investigative: None

    Review: Independent Police Oversight Board

    Audit: None

    Adjudicative: None

    Appeals: None

    Supervisory: None

    Advisory: None

  • 1,580,863

    Philadelphia, PA

    1,580,863

    Investigative: None

    Review: Police Advisory Commission

    Audit: None

    Adjudicative: None

    Appeals: Police Advisory Commission

    Supervisory: None

    Advisory: None