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CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to announce the opening of two additional Police Areas as part of a restructuring effort to move more officers and detectives closer to the communities they serve and improve neighborhood policing across the city. Expanding the Department to five Police Areas across the city, the two new facilities are designed to streamline operations across the Department, give District commanders greater control and access over resources to meet the public safety needs, and increase collaboration between detectives and patrol officers.
“These two new Areas are a testament to our 'all-hands-on-deck' strategy to maximize resources and expand services to touch every community and resident across Chicago,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Today’s measures are just one more step in building a stronger, more unified and collaborative police department that puts resources and supports directly into the hands of our officers and detectives so they can keep our neighborhoods safe.”
Reshaping CPD into five Police Areas — a structure that was in place prior to 2013 — District patrol, Area detectives, gang investigation teams, Area saturation teams and some narcotics investigation teams will fall under the authority of a single Deputy Chief. This latest effort will not only improve internal communication across the Department but also create a stronger culture of accountability, allow for better coordination and ensure all operations within each Area are working together to reduce crime on a larger scale.
"We are investing in our crime-fighting strategy by moving detectives closer to the areas they serve so we can move closer to our goal of making Chicago the safest big city in the nation," said Superintendent David O. Brown. "This expansion demonstrates our commitment to seeking justice and bringing closure to victims and their families.”
Today’s expansion will boost the effectiveness of the Bureau of Patrol teams that work out of the Police Areas, giving district commanders more resources and accountability. Previously, specialized gang and saturation teams operated out of the three existing Areas. These teams are designed for quick response situations and can target large scale criminal activity across multiple police districts. With two more Areas, these teams will be better able to blanket the city and safeguard every neighborhood.
The openings will also provide community members across the city with more resources directly within their neighborhoods. With gang investigations and Area saturation teams now working out of Area 4 and Area 5, the Department is better positioned to mobilize and respond quickly to scenes, providing a more robust public safety presence in the communities that need them most.
"We are moving detectives into higher crime areas in order to conduct investigations more efficiently and effectively," said Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan. "The addition of these two Areas will assist detectives in holding violent crime offenders accountable for their actions.”
These additional Areas will also make it easier for witnesses and victims to meet with detectives. Witnesses and victims on the city's West Side previously had to travel far distances to meet with detectives. With the new boundaries, residents will have better access and communication with detectives, helping to expedite the timeliness of investigations while also building stronger community relations and restoring trust.
“With the opening of these two Police Areas, Mayor Lightfoot is building on her commitment to maximize every last public safety resource in Chicago to keep us safe,” said Alderman Taliaferro, chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “By providing more resources to our district commanders and streamlining our patrol and detective operations, CPD has never been better-equipped to prevent, respond and solve crimes.”
Increasing the number of Areas will also reduce the time it takes detectives to arrive on the scene of a shooting or homicide. As a result, detectives will be more likely to locate witnesses on-scene and lower the risk of contaminated evidence. This is a move toward the Department’s ongoing efforts to improve CPD’s clearance rate.
“All residents deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods, and by expanding the Department’s crime-fighting resources and adding more officers and detectives in our communities, we can further build on that mission,” said Alderman Michael Scott Jr. “I applaud the Mayor for creating not only a more effective, collaborative and integrated police department but also for providing our officers with the tools they need to do their jobs and keep us safe.”
Similar to the existing areas, Areas 4 and 5 will also be equipped with Area Technology Centers (ATCs). The ATC rooms act as nerve centers for smart policing technology within the Police Areas. With these tech centers, detectives are able to access surveillance video and gather digital evidence more easily. Analysts from the University of Chicago Crime Lab also work in partnership with the detectives in these ATC rooms to help in clearing cases more quickly. The new ATCs are being funded by philanthropist Ken Griffin, who also funded the tech hubs in the existing Areas.
“With more officers and detectives moving closer to our communities, they are better positioned to build meaningful relationships within the communities they are sworn to serve and protect,” said Alderman Emma Mitts. “Mayor Lightfoot continues to ensure that our police officers have the support, tools and resources they need to be successful partners in our neighborhoods.”
The expansion will also boost the effectiveness of the Bureau of Patrol teams that work out of the Police Areas. Previously, specialized gang and saturation teams operated out of the three existing Areas. These teams are designed for quick response situations and can target large scale criminal activity across multiple police districts. With two more Areas, these teams will be better able to blanket the city and safeguard every neighborhood.
The addition of Areas 4 and 5 align with recommendations from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), which completed a review of CPD's Homicide Investigation Process last year. A key recommendation of the review was to redraw the Area boundaries to balance case volume amongst the five Areas. Earlier this month, the more than 900 detectives working in the previous three Areas were redistributed into the five Areas to alleviate individual caseloads and allow for an increased focus on the cases they are assigned to.
"We're gratified that CPD is adding two additional detective Areas, which was a key recommendation from our report," said PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler. "This change will help improve the efficiency of officers and detectives.
In addition to structural changes, the facilities that housed the original Areas 4 and 5 were rehabbed and updated over the past few months to best fit the needs of the detectives and specialized teams that work out of them. The new workspaces feature new computers, phones and printers that will equip those working in these facilities with the tools they need to conduct investigations.
The reorganization of the Department earlier this year put in place leadership to oversee the additional two Areas. Area 4 will be led by Deputy Chief Ernest Cato, with Detectives being led by Commander Richard Wiser. Area 5 will be led by Deputy Chief Roberto Nieves, with Detectives being led by Commander Eric Winstrom.
Area 1 (5101 S Wentworth Ave)
Deputy Chief: Jose Tirado
Detective Commander: Tommy Mills
2nd (Wentworth) District
3rd (Grand Crossing) District
7th (Englewood) District
8th (Chicago Lawn) District
9th (Deering) District
Area 2 (727 E 111th St)
Deputy Chief: Elgin Holt
Detective Commander: Joel Howard
4th (South Chicago) District
5th (Calumet) District
6th (Gresham) District
22nd (Morgan Park) District
Area 3 (2452 W Belmont Ave)
Deputy Chief: Dan O’Shea
Detective Commander: Robert Cesario
1st (Central) District
12th (Near West) District
18th (Near North) District
19th (Town Hall) District
20th (Lincoln) District
24th (Rogers Park) District
Area 4 (3151 W Harrison Ave)
Deputy Chief: Ernest Cato
Detective Commander: Richard Wiser
10th (Ogden) District
11th (Harrison) District
15th (Austin) District
Area 5 (5555 W Grand Ave)
Deputy Chief: Roberto Nieves
Detective Commander: Eric Winstrom
14th (Shakespeare) District
16th (Jefferson Park) District
17th (Albany Park) District
25th (Grand Central) District