May 19, 2023

Mayor Johnson Appoints Garien Gatewood as First-Ever Deputy Mayor of Community Safety

Gatewood to lead efforts addressing root causes of crime and violence in Chicago

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced Garien Gatewood will serve as the City of Chicago’s Deputy Mayor of Community Safety. As the first-ever Deputy Mayor of Community Safety, Gatewood will lead cross-government efforts to eradicate the root causes of crime and violence, and advance a comprehensive, healing-centered approach to public safety.

“Building a safer Chicago means we must address the root causes of crime with a comprehensive approach. As my Deputy Mayor for Community Safety, I know Garien Gatewood will help advance that vision and create safer neighborhoods in every corner of our city by investing in people, especially our youth,” said Mayor Johnson. “Garien’s extensive record supporting at-risk young Chicagoans will be essential to achieving our vision for a safer city and will be invaluable to a holistic and healing-centered government response to violence.”

“I am humbled by this opportunity to advance a holistic and comprehensive approach to community safety,” said Garien Gatewood. “I’ve worked with the young people of Chicago for years, and I know that together we can deliver on a vision for a stronger, safer city that addresses the root causes of violence, provides support for youth and adults alike, and lifts up every neighborhood.” 

Gatewood currently serves as the Director of the Illinois Justice Project where he has been a central figure in developing strategies to lift up youth and adults, providing support for returning residents, and helping to guide policy in support of the Illinois SAFE-T Act. He will serve a key role in carrying Mayor Johnson’s public safety vision with a focus on community engagement and diversion programs.

In addition, Gatewood was appointed by Governor J.B Pritzker to serve on the board of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the state agency that directs the development and coordination of programs designed to enhance and improve public safety. 

Prior to his role as Director of the Illinois Justice Project, Gatewood was Director of Policy at the Juvenile Justice Initiative, a non-profit focusing on legislation and policy reform for youth in Illinois. 

Gatewood holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Jackson State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. 

The new role of Deputy Mayor for Community Safety was established by Mayor Johnson on his first day in office as part of his first four executive orders.  EO 2023-17 calls on the Deputy Mayor to be “responsible for coordination and communication between all applicable City departments and officials related to the City's efforts to eradicate the root causes of crime, violence, and harm, and to advance a holistic and comprehensive approach to community safety.”