A station-based Strategic Decision Support Center (SDSC), high-definition POD crime cameras and mobile phone technology will launch in the 24th (Rogers Park) Police District this week. This brings to our community the same kind of “smart policing strategy” that has resulted in significant reductions in violent crime in the police districts where it has been implemented.
At my request, Mayor Emanuel and the Police Department moved up the timetable for the installation of the smart policing strategy in the 24th District in the wake of last fall’s random shooting deaths.
Even before the implementation of the smart policing strategy, the 49th Ward has experienced a significant drop in serious crime. According to Chicago Police Department statistics, the ward last year experienced a 12.7% decrease in serious crimes as compared to 2017, despite several high-profile and very disturbing shooting deaths. This trend has continued into January with a 43.4% decrease in violent crime as compared to January, 2018.
The implementation of a smart policing strategy hopefully will help continue these promising trends.
The Strategic Decision Support Center will be based out of the 24th District police station at 6464 N. Clark. The center will be staffed 24/7 with a uniformed District Intelligence Officer who will monitor cameras installed by the Police Department, other public agencies and private property owners. The cameras will be focused only on outdoor activity in the public way.
The deployment center will include predictive software and mapping technology. Data, such as offender criminal history and past crime incidents, will be placed into a single, usable platform to help the district commander and officers make critical deployment decisions and prepare proper responses to calls for service. Civilian analysts from the University of Chicago Crime Lab will examine crime trends and coordinate with uniformed staff to deliver up-to-the-minute information directly to patrol units in the field.
The expansion of smart policing strategies to the 24th District follows a pilot implemented in 2017 in the 7th and 11th districts on the city’s south and west sides. Both districts experienced dramatic reductions in violent crime. Based on the successes in those districts, the City expanded its smart policing strategy last March to the 12th District on the city’s near west site. Since then, the district experienced a 37% reduction in shooting incidents, 64% reduction in murders, 35% reduction in carjackings, and a 15% reduction in robberies.
In addition to the center itself, the smart policing strategy includes the following:
POD Crime Cameras
The city is in the process of installing additional high definition POD crime cameras at strategic locations in the 24th District. The real-time monitoring of those cameras will provide critical information for the better and timelier allocation of police resources.
Every beat officer working in the 24th District will be issued mobile phones equipped with crime analysis tools. These devices give the police officers in the field real-time access to district intelligence information, helping them determine where to patrol based on historical crime data. This mobile technology will allow for smarter, data-driven patrols and significantly decreased response times to 911 calls for service.
License Plate Reader Vehicles
The 24th District will receive new License Plate Reader (LPR) vehicles this month to help combat carjacking and car thefts. The automated LPR technology allows CPD to match license plates against a list of stolen and wanted vehicles as alerts are analyzed in the Strategic Decision Support Center.
A Holistic Approach to Fighting Crime
Of course, enhanced technology and policing techniques is only one part of the solution to violence in our community. The City will invest an additional $10.4 million in youth mentoring programs this coming year on top of the $25 million that already has been spent to provide universal mentoring in 8th, 9th, and 10th grades. Just this past summer, over 32,000 Chicago youth were enrolled in summer jobs and internship programs, more than double what was spent ten years ago.
And over $77 million was spent this past year on after school programs for more than 110,000 youth in Chicago, including Rogers Park.
Just this past month, I sponsored a Job Fair for the new Target opening soon at Sheridan and Devon. The new Target will bring 70 new jobs to our neighborhood Already over a dozen area residents have been offered jobs at Target as a result of my Job Fair.
My office also sponsors an annual Expungement Seminar to educate people on how to clear their criminal record and remove that barrier to employment. Literally hundreds of individuals have take advantage of this opportunity to clear their record. I am the only alderman in the City who offers this seminar.
This holistic approach to crime fighting, which involves more effective policing strategies combined with investing in youth, second chances and jobs, is the key to making our neighborhood and city safer.