Getting It Right: Civilian Oversight & Accountability of the Chicago Police Department - City Club of Chicago

Getting It Right: Civilian Oversight & Accountability of the Chicago Police Department

Chief Administrator Andrea Kersten (COPA) and President Anthony Driver (CCPSA)

Tuesday, Apr 9, 2024

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Andrea Kersten

Andrea Kersten currently leads the Civilian Office of Police Accountability as the Chief Administrator.  Kersten has been an integral part of COPA’s leadership team and a leading voice on the issue of civilian oversight in Chicago for the last five years.  Kersten began her work at COPA in the legal department serving as the Chief Investigative Law Officer.  From there Kersten assumed the role of Deputy Chief Administrator assigned to Investigations and ultimately went on to lead the entire investigative unit as the Chief of Investigative Operations. Kersten has been instrumental in the formation of COPA’s Special Victims Unit, a group of specialized investigators dedicated to victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. In response to widespread protests in 2020, Kersten was tapped to form COPA’s Protest/Civil Unrest Unit, a specialized squad uniquely organized to receive, review and triage mass protest-related complaints.

Kersten brings a career of public service experience to the agency, having previously served as a domestic violence advocate, an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County, and an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.  Kersten also serves on the board of The Tripp Healy Foundation which supports student athletes in the greater Chicagoland area.  Kersten received her J.D. from the John Marshall Law School and her B.A. in Sociology from North Park University.

Anthony Driver

Anthony Driver President of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability. Anthony is a lifelong southside resident, Bulls fan, and seasoned political strategist. Politically active since his youth, Anthony has experience in municipal, state, and federal politics as well as in both the private and public sectors. He is a graduate of Howard University and an advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. After receiving his degree in Political Science and History from Howard, Anthony went on to serve as a Policy Associate for the Estell Group, the first and only Black woman-owned full-service government relations firm at the national level. He later would hold research and consultant roles that examined the juvenile incarceration rates in the US and how they are influenced by state policy.

He is currently the Executive Director of the SEIU Illinois State Council , where he is responsible for leading policy initiatives, organizing campaigns, and advocacy work on behalf of the 160,000 + SEIU members.

In his previous role at SEIU HCII, Anthony served as lead strategist on winning campaigns that raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour in Chicago and created a Civilian Oversight Board over the Chicago Police Department. In August of this year, Anthony was appointed as a Civilian Oversight Commissioner for the City of Chicago, and subsequently selected as president of the Commission. Using a combination of skills and relationships developed as a lobbyist and strategist, Anthony has successfully secured over $100 million in federal, state, and municipal funds to be redirected to support marginalized and disinvested communities. He has worked to successfully build bridges between residents and the local, state, and federal officials elected to serve them, as well as to increase African American voter turnout. With several electoral campaign victories under his belt, he is looking forward to contributing to building a more just and representative society in Illinois and beyond. He is a former Chicago Federation of Labor Delegate, an inaugural Black Bench Cohort member and serves as a board member of the Peace and Education Coalition of the Back of the Yards

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