In a speech to community groups, members of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), faith leaders and residents at Malcolm X College, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today outlined his comprehensive public safety strategy.
Just a few years ago, Chicago’s homicide rate reached its lowest level in 50 years. Today, that hopeful trend has reversed, and the critical relationships between communities and police need to be rebuilt. The Mayor’s multi-faceted plan – including an increase to the overall police department by 970 officers over two years, and providing every 8th - 10th grade CPS boy in the 20 most violent community areas with a mentor – focuses on enforcement, prevention and continued investment in creating jobs in Chicago neighborhoods.
Strengthening Law Enforcement. Mayor Emanuel’s plan includes new resources to strengthen law enforcement tools, including additional police offices, detectives and sergeants. Working with Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the City will increase the size of the Chicago Police Department by 970 positions by the end of 2018. This two-year plan includes the following hires, in addition to filling any existing vacancies and keeping pace with attrition:
- 516 more police officers: These officers will be assigned directly to the streets of our communities, working with residents in a partnership to address violence.
- 92 new field training officers: The department will expand the number of field training officers to ensure that all new recruits receive high quality, individualized in-the-field guidance from a trained and experienced officer.
- 112 new sergeants and 50 lieutenants: Superintendent Johnson will promote these sergeants and lieutenants from among his current officers, whose leadership and deep knowledge of the city will help guide officers on the beat.
- 200 new detectives: To restore trust, communities must believe that violent offenders will be brought to justice. Superintendent Johnson is adding 200 detectives and putting more resources into investigating and clearing cases.
- Civilian professional staff: In addition to the above 970 hires, the Chicago Police Department will continue to hire civilian professional staff to serve in roles that do not require a gun, badge or arrest powers. By the end of 2016, the Department will have hired 319 civilian professional staff, and in 2017 and 2018, the Department will add an estimated 200 more.
Additionally, the City will invest in training and technology to provide police with tools they need to fight crime and improve trust with the communities they serve.
- Ensuring every officer has a body-worn camera: Building on a successful pilot in 6 police districts, the Department is equipping every officer with a body-worn camera.
- Strengthening the training academy: Superintendent Johnson has set a new standard for how officers police our communities, and the Department is now on the cutting edge of developing training curriculum to reflect that strategy; including new scenario-based, in-service training for experienced officers and resources to enhance recruit training.
- Investing in gunshot detection technology and cameras: The city is funding placement of gunshot-detection technology and cameras in six of our most violent police districts, to help officers respond more quickly and more accurately to the location of shootings, and to provide additional evidence that can help identify and convict violent criminals.
Investments in Prevention. Policing alone will not reduce violent crime. The City of Chicago must come together to invest in programs and supports that cut off the schools-to-prison pipeline and ensure that more of our children remain on track to graduate and go to college. The Mayor’s plan:
- Provides mentors to at risk 8th, 9th and 10th grade boys: According to the University of Chicago, there are 7,200 8th - 10th grade boys in CPS schools in the 20 community areas with the highest homicide rates. Mayor Emanuel is launching a three-year, $36 million initiative supported by public and private dollars to provide each and every one of these boys with a high-quality mentoring program by 2018. To achieve this goal, the City will be searching for new evidence-based programs as well as investing in expanding existing programs, like Becoming a Man (BAM), which has been proven to reduce violent crimes among its participants by nearly 50 percent compared to their peers not enrolled in the program. The Administration will work with the University of Chicago Crime Lab to incubate and support high quality mentoring programs beyond BAM.
- Expands mentoring programs for at risk girls: The City will expand the Working on Womanhood (WOW) program by 30% to serve 1,300 young women by 2018. Using a trauma-informed approach, WOW targets young women with significant risk factors for dropout or delinquency such as: teenage pregnancy, trauma, drug or alcohol abuse, gang involvement, fighting, academic failure and discipline referrals.
- Continues reforms to CPS disciplinary process: Over the past four years CPS had been at the forefront of adopting restorative justice practices. Overall, the District’s out-of-school suspension rate has decreased by 67 percent and the expulsion rate has decreased by 74 percent since 2012. Over the same time period, the number of police calls about CPS students has dropped by nearly 40%.
- Invests in proven academic support programs: This year CPS doubled the number of students served by SAGA Innovations, a tutoring and mentoring program designed to improve academic outcomes for at-risk students while keeping them safe and in school. According to the University of Chicago, the program’s benefits were equivalent to closing nearly a third of the nationwide achievement gap in math test scores between white and black students, in just one year. Additionally, the program improved student math test scores by the equivalent of an extra one to two years of math growth, over and above what the typical American high school student learns in one year. The program will expand the number of students being served to 1,600 youth across 13 high schools, up from 600 students in 2013.
- Continues the Mayor’s call for mentors: In August 2015 Mayor Emanuel and the Illinois Mentoring Partnership announced the Mayor’s Mentoring Challenge, a two-year initiative seeking 1,000 residents to serve as new mentors for Chicago’s youth. This call to action pairs at-risk youth across the city with a mentor to provide enrichment and guidance opportunities that are critical to each and every child’s development and success. Since the initiative launched, it has recruited nearly 800 mentors that are participating in 26 youth-serving programs across the City.
- Expands social emotional learning in our schools: Since 2012, CPS has increased the budget for Social & Emotional Learning by 25%, adding more than a dozen specialists that train and support schools. Over that period of time, CPS has trained nearly 350 schools in an evidence-based curriculum for teaching students' Social & Emotional skills (including conflict resolution and responsible decision making) and trained and coached 250 schools in evidence-based strategies for developing supportive and restorative school climates. Earlier this month, CPS received a $1.35 million federal grant to increase trauma supports in 10 high schools most affected by violence in their communities.
Legislative Measures to Address Gun Violence. This year the Illinois General Assembly passed and Governor Rauner signed into law a bill that reduced penalties for low level drug offenses, similar to the ordinance passed by the City Council in 2012. This important reform represents only half of the equation; tougher penalties for repeat violent offenders and stronger regulation of gun dealers represent the other half. The Mayor’s legislative agenda is focused on:
- Ensuring repeat offenders serve meaningful time: Superintendent Johnson and Mayor Emanuel have made it a top priority to pass a bill by Senators Kwame Raoul and Tony Munoz and Representatives Mike Zalewski and Elgie Sims to encourage judges to sentence repeat gun offenders to sentences at the high end of the relevant sentencing ranges.
- Cracking down on problem gun dealers: A small number of local gun dealers are the source of thousands of guns recovered by the Chicago Police Department. Representative Willis has introduced a bill to license gun stores, which will allow law enforcement to inspect business records, require safety measures, train store employees to detect traffickers, and shut down problem businesses if they fail to improve business practices.
Ensuring Economic Opportunity for All Chicagoans. Ensuring that residents across the city have economic opportunity is critical to treating the root cause of violence. The Mayor’s strategy includes:
- Expanding job opportunities for disconnected youth: Through a partnership with the Howard Schultz Foundation, Thrive Chicago, and the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership, the Administration has partnered with more than 50 businesses to provide jobs to more than 2,000 out of school and out of work youth. The Emanuel Administration continues to work with Thrive Chicago, the Emerson Collective, Get In Chicago, and other philanthropic and community stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategy for employing disconnected youth.
- Expanding job opportunities for returning citizens: In September the Mayor passed an ordinance that will create incentives for City construction contractors to hire apprentices who are formerly incarcerated for their contracts. Vendors that meet the requirements will receive a bid incentive when vying for City contracts. Additionally, since January 2015 Mayor Emanuel’s 1,000 Manufacturing Jobs initiative has more than 250 formerly incarcerated individuals into full-time manufacturing jobs. In the coming months the Emanuel Administration will announce additional initiatives to help the formerly incarcerated get a second chance.
- Investing in revitalizing commercial corridors: The Mayor’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, launched earlier this year and supported by payments from downtown developers that receive the right build larger projects, will have received nearly $8 million in payments by the beginning of 2017. These funds will support the City’s broader strategy to invest in the commercial corridors of neighborhoods where jobs are most needed.
- Attracting new manufacturing investment: Earlier this year the Emanuel Administration launched its Industrial Growth Zones initiative, which will attract new manufacturing industrial companies and local hiring to neighborhoods in need of investment by offering incentives and enhanced service. These Growth Zones will aim to attract new investments in manufacturing to North Lawndale, Austin, Humboldt Park, Calumet, Burnside, West Lawn, Chicago Lawn, and Ashburn
- Offering jobs and wraparound services for disconnected youth: This year the City funded a pilot program for opportunity youth in Auburn Gresham that offered 50 young adults between the ages of 16-28 with full-time employment and access to support and services to maintain employment. The results of this pilot will help inform future initiatives focused on providing out of work and out of school youth with jobs and services.
- Maximizing the jobs impact of City-funded projects: Expanding on the community hiring program created for the Red Line South Reconstruction, the Mayor announced a multi-year construction project at O’Hare Airport tied to an expanded initiative to connect residents of neighborhoods with high unemployment to the investment’s entry-level jobs. Similarly, the Mayor passed an ordinance this winter that targeted City bid incentives to residents from disadvantaged neighborhoods; and this February, the Mayor also passed an ordinance to increase Women and Minority-owned Business participation in City procurements.
Rebuilding the two-way street of trust: Addressing violence also requires commitment to a culture of transparency and accountability, and a commitment to working to rebuild trust and respect between law enforcement and communities. In April, the Policy Accountability Task Force appointed by the Mayor released a report containing several recommendations related to transparency and accountability, and the Mayor has adopted many of their recommendations, including:
- Increasing transparency with a new video release policy: The city has adopted a new policy where all audio, video, and documents from officer-involved shootings and excessive force cases are released on a newly-created transparency portal within 60 days of a complaint being filed. In the first three months, the portal has experienced over 1.6 million video views.
- Supporting sweeping police accountability reforms: Mayor Emanuel and the City Council are working to pass an ordinance that will replace the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) with a new independent agency to investigate serious police misconduct. The new Civilian Office of Police Accountability will have expanded jurisdiction and authority to investigate both individual instances and potential patterns of police misconduct. The ordinance will also create a new role of Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety, who will be charged with auditing the entire police accountability system. The draft ordinance is the result of an unprecedented level of engagement, including 9 public hearings and dozens of stakeholder meetings.
- Committing to a civilian oversight board In addition to the new Civilian Office of Policy Accountability and Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety, Mayor Emanuel has committed to working with City Council and community groups to create a community oversight board, which will play a role in ensuring the transparency and accountability of the police discipline system. A collaborative of a dozen community organizations will facilitate discussions with residents to help inform the design of that board, with the goal of creating the board in the next 6 to 9 months.
- Implementing a new emphasis on conflict de-escalation and mental health: Building on the Chicago Police Department’s new force mitigation policy, which was adopted in December, this month the Department began rolling out a new, state-of-the-art 2-day training that moves away from classroom instruction in favor of real-life scenario training exercises to help officers make decisions in potentially volatile situations. That training includes a full day of training on mental health, to help officers recognize the symptoms of a person in mental health crisis, respond with empathy, and call in specialized Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) units where needed. In addition, the City was recently awarded federal grant money to support its Citywide Mental Health Response Steering Committee.