Friday, October 14, 2016

The Rise and Fall of Community Policing in Chicago
"Community policing has long been a matter of life and death in Chicago. When it's worked, researchers have found that communities of color report less fear of crime and better relations with the police, which can translate into improved crime prevention and fewer shootings. And in a year when shootings have skyrocketed and community trust of the police has been severely damaged by the release of a series of videos capturing police shootings, it's been touted by politicians as a powerful crime-fighting strategy.

'Chicago is where the whole idea of community policing began,' Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a speech on police accountability on December 9, 2015, just two weeks after the release of the Laquan McDonald video rocked the city and sparked a crisis in police-community relations. 'It remains the best and most comprehensive approach we have in changing the everyday conditions that breed crime and violence and then breed mistrust.'

But nine months after that speech, an analysis by City Bureau and the Reader finds CAPS in crisis. Chicago's once-trailblazing community policing program has been hollowed out by years of budget cuts and restructuring. Stretched thin, the police department no longer has the money necessary to reach out to the community and quickly follow up on citizen complaints... CAPS today is an uneven patchwork of programs around the city. The result has been the destruction of the trust and goodwill the police department had built in the early years of CAPS."

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