Monday, January 10, 2011

Community Policing Is Caught in a Cross-Fire

Mick Dumke at the Chicago News Coop has more on the CAPS program:
Last Monday, neighborhood residents and police officers gathered at a Humboldt Park community center for their monthly community policing meeting. Crime in their police district, the 11th, had fallen, but it still outpaced the rest of the city in many categories, including homicide, where it ranked No. 1.

Those at the meeting also noted that the drug trade was as robust as ever. In November and December, residents of one two-block stretch of North Ridgeway Avenue had called the police 127 times, an average of more than twice a day.

Despite the problems, turnout at the meeting was poor: five police officers, two residents and a local housing advocate. One of the officers, Sgt. Davina Ward, announced that because of budget constraints the 11th District would hold fewer community meetings. “CAPS has been cut,” Sergeant Ward said, referring to Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, the city’s 18-year-old community policing initiative.

Mr. Weis said last week that the department remained committed to community policing. 
What do you make of this statement?
Critics countered that the police department, at Mr. Daley’s behest, veered from true community policing years ago. It should be doing more than encouraging citizens to snitch, they said. It should be teaming with them to confront the neighborhood disorganization that leads to crime, like irresponsible liquor stores, abandoned buildings and drug dealing.
You should read the whole thing.

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