Do you have ideas on how to reinvigorate community policing in Chicago ? Any thoughts on how to build trust between Chicago Police and the residents they serve?
Please share them at a special Town Hall Meeting with the Community Policing Advisory Panel on Tuesday, April 25th, 6:30 p.m., at Sullivan High School, 6631 N. Bosworth (in the school cafeteria).
Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson formed the advisory panel late last year to develop a new strategic plan for community policing in Chicago. The panel consists of national experts in the field, members of the Police Department’s command staff and Chicago community leaders, and is charged with providing a comprehensive and thoughtful report on ways the Police Department can engage and collaborate with communities to fight crime and restore trust.
I am pleased to see the Chicago Police Department renewing its focus on true community policing, with a recognition that community policing should be the Department’s core philosophy and not just a program.
I was a strong and vocal advocate for bringing community policing to Chicago when I first ran for alderman in 1991. Shortly after my election, I sponsored City Council hearings on community policing and shortly thereafter, Mayor Daley announced four police districts in Chicago would be community policing pilot districts. Working with community residents, I successfully advocated for the 24th Police District to be one of those pilot districts.
Chicago soon became the first major city in the U.S. to adopt community policing citywide (known as the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, or CAPS) and the 24th District served as a shining example of one of the most successful models of community policing in the nation.
My current chief-of-staff, Kevin O’Neil (see photo on right taken in 2008) was then a private citizen and participated as a Beat Facilitator in Beat 2431, the area around Morse Avenue. As a result of his efforts and those of his neighbors, Beat 2431 experienced one of the most dramatic decreases in crime of any beat in the City.
Sadly, Mayor Daley took his eye off the community policing ball and the City gradually began to reduce funding and support for the community policing effort. I’m pleased that despite this lack of City support, community policing in the 24th District remains strong, but there is plenty of room for improvement.
The advisory panel is holding these town hall meetings in three city locations; this is the only North Side meeting site. This is you chance to voice your support for reinvigorating community policing in Chicago and offer your suggestions on how the community and the police can create mutual strategies to fight crime and restore trust.
I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday.