People's Plan for Community Safety

It's the people that make Chicago a place we are proud to call home.  And it's the people of this city who can help us build a stronger, safer Chicago. 

The People’s Plan for Community Safety is a community-led initiative that unites Chicagoans from all walks of life to address historic disinvestment, work toward healing our communities and make all of Chicago safe for everyone. This work harnesses the full force of government, community organizations, businesses, philanthropy, and more to solve a decades-long problem in a new way.  

Our Approach

One of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s first acts was to appoint Garien Gatewood the City of Chicago’s Deputy Mayor of Community Safety in May 2023. As the first-ever Deputy Mayor of Community Safety, Deputy Mayor Gatewood and his office will harness the full force of government and collaborate with cross-functional stakeholders to eradicate the root causes of crime and violence and advance a comprehensive, healing-centered approach to make all Chicago communities safe. 

We’re taking a refreshed and intentional approach to promote community safety through purposeful investments that will ensure all Chicago residents live in safe communities. The People’s Plan for Community Safety encompasses our two-pronged strategy to protect the people most impacted by violence and to prevent future harm: 

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 Immediately interrupt violence by supporting the people most acutely impacted

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Reach and support adults of highest promise by expanding community violence intervention and improving coordination.

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Reduce the involvement of youth in violence by improving our ability to reach & support youth of highest promise.

  • Partner with youth to build & design service model capable of reaching & supporting youth of highest promise. 
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Offer high-quality, immediate support to help address the intersectional layers of trauma impacting people who have been harmed and who have caused harm.

  • Build capacity of trained victim advocates & create centralized support structures
  • Define roles for victim service personnel in immediate response & develop systems of coordination
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Address the root causes of violence, focusing on high opportunity neighborhoods

Where we will start 

When there is a crisis, you have to triage. This is why we will start the place-based components of this plan within a handful of community areas that are most in need of intervention: Austin, West Garfield Park, Englewood and Little Village (South Lawndale). We are working at a hyperlocal, census block group level to maximize the impact of our layered investments. Block groups were selected through extensive qualitative and quantitative data analysis that looked at the most violent CPD beats, layered on indicators of historical disinvestment, and social determinants of health. We worked with aldermen to make the final selection. The work will then grow in phases, continuing our rollout across Chicago to make every community safe. 

Who are youth and adults of highest promise? 

Adults and young people of highest promise are those individuals most at risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence. They likely experience some combination of risk factors including history of involvements with the criminal legal system, disconnected from school or work, street involvement, and exposure to community violence. 

We know that language matters so we are taking an asset-based approach, focusing on the strengths of our people and the potential we know can be achieved when we reverse the tide of historic and purposeful disinvestment. 

Stronger Together

We cannot tackle this alone. The People’s Plan for Community Safety will unite the many people and groups working to reduce violence in our communities to deliver a comprehensive plan that will unite Chicagoans and produce a thriving, vibrant City.   

To begin, the Mayor’s Office of Community Safety will work with initiative teams to further develop a number of people-based and place-based initiatives. These teams will be comprised of cross-functional leaders from youth, faith, labor, philanthropy and business, and research organizations. We will work with the community members who know best the challenges that their communities face and the assets that exist. 

Our work will be guided by three principles: 


We can’t do this work alone. We will collaborate with key stakeholders – government, community members and community organizations, philanthropy, businesses and more – to take unified action and create solutions. 


This initiative is our response to decades of disinvestment. We will continue to listen to the evolving needs of our communities and adapt our approach accordingly.  

Long-Term Commitment  

This cannot be solved overnight. Long-term, layered investments are critical to making sure our communities are safe today and for generations to come.  


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