Origins of Community Policing in Chicago

Community PolicingThe origins of community policing in Chicago from the perspective of the community rarely if ever get a voice when the media covers the topic. The media has swallowed whole the propaganda that began under Mayor Daley but has continued relentlessly through the Emanuel and Lightfoot administrations. 

Our recent discussion Elce Redmond, Organizing Director at the South Austin Coalition, on our Facebook Live show seeks to shed light on the origin of community policing in Chicago. Despite what the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the City would like you to believe the push for more accountability in policing, politics, and city services was driving by communities of color.

CJP is engaged in research on the CAPS program in Chicago. As part of the research we have submitted a FOIA request for data about the CAPS program.

Daley and academics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola Chicago, and Northwestern took what the communities were pushing and turned it in to what they called Chicago’s Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS). This new strategy centers all the power in the CPD and doesn’t create a structure for communities to hold local politicians or other city departments to account for their lack of services to the community. Community policing in Chicago eventually turned in to what one alderman said was “Daley’s best re-election strategy”.

Both Mayor Lightfoot and Superintendent David Brown are huge supporters of a CAPS and community policing. Hopefully the Chicago media will start to dig in to how CAPS was created as a tool to blunt community demands for accountability across the entire range of city services before political officials dump millions of dollars in to an effort to revitalize the program.

Below is the video of our discussion with Elce Redmond and a number of clips we posted to our YouTube channel.

From our Facebook Live show on 9/16/20

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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