As announced by the Village of Niles on April 27, 2021, there have been several internal investigations underway within the Niles Police Department. The Niles Police Department has completed its internal investigation into one of these investigations, regarding the Department’s response to a February 28, 2021 well being check at a restaurant drive-thru. A formal investigation into this case began on April 2, 2021 in response to a complaint about the incident.
The Niles Police Department’s investigation revealed no instances of wrongdoing in the February well being check. The officers and supervisors involved in the well being check were determined to have acted appropriately, and neither Village administration nor the Police Department will take any disciplinary action against them in regards to this incident.
There were several elements of the response that were cited publicly, and were falsely depicted as illegal or improper, including turning off body cameras, an officer driving the subject of the well being check home in a police car, and the lack of a formal report being filed for the incident. The internal investigation looked closely at these actions and the related laws and protocols. No policies or laws were violated by these actions, and officers acted within their allowed discretion.
Further, at the direction of then-Mayor-elect George Alpogianis, the Village of Niles ordered a third-party review of the Police Department’s internal investigation into the February well being check. While Police Department investigations are not typically subject to third-party review, this action was ordered due to the level of public interest in the situation and in order to provide above-and-beyond reassurance to the community. The Village of Niles administration has received the completed third-party review from the firm of Odelson, Sterk, Murphey, Frazier, & McGrath, Ltd. The review validates the procedures and findings of the Niles Police Department’s internal investigation into the February 28th well being check, confirming that both the well being check and subsequent investigation were handled appropriately.
At this time, the Village of Niles and the Niles Police Department consider the investigation into the February 28th, 2021 well being check completed and closed. Village Administration will provide further updates on the outcomes of the other recent investigations when appropriate and when permissible under law. The Village of Niles and the Niles Police Department appreciate the patience of the public during the long and methodical process of investigating these cases thoroughly.
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