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Walter Katz

Vice President of Criminal Justice

Headshot of Walter Katz
Todd Spoth

Walter joined Arnold Ventures after more than two decades in public service, beginning with a 17-year tenure as a public defender in Southern California through his 2017 appointment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety in the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. At the Mayor’s Office, Walter oversaw one of the most complex police reform efforts in the United States, served as a co-negotiator of the consent decree that was enacted in 2019, and led the design and development of the new Office of Violence Prevention. He worked closely with the police department in developing a new use of force policy and chaired the Crisis Intervention Advisory Committee. Immediately before coming to Arnold Ventures, Walter was the Director of Professional Services at a developer of early intervention software and provided advice to jurisdictions around the U.S. seeking to align policy and technology with 21st Century Police Practices.

Walter has an extensive background in law enforcement accountability and oversight. Prior to returning to his birthplace of Chicago, he served as the Independent Police Auditor for San Jose, California following his appointment by the City Council in 2015. He also served as Deputy Inspector General for the County of Los Angeles Office of Inspector General (OIG) that oversees the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD).

He has written about independent investigations of police lethal use of force in the Harvard Law Review Forum and his work has also appeared in The New York Times and other publications. He is a past board member of the National Association for the Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) and currently serves on the board of trustees of Children’s Home and Aid in Chicago. Walter received his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific and his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Headshot of Walter Katz
Todd Spoth
Meet the Team

Criminal Justice

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Headshot of Alexa Herzog
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Grants

Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

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