Our City Our Safety
Published in September 2020, “Our City, Our Safety” lays out a comprehensive plan for the City of Chicago’s violence reduction work through 2023, with the goal of sustainably reducing violence and making Chicago a city where everyone is and feels safe. Following this plan, we will build the infrastructure and establish the policies and practices that will achieve this reduction in the years to come.
Violence is an equity issue
Each year, Chicago experiences devastating levels of violence that disproportionately affect communities of color. Community and domestic violence are concentrated on Chicago’s west and south sides and victims are primarily people of color.
This plan assumes that violence is not an intractable problem but rather a public health crisis that is preventable and treatable through an intentional, coordinated, and sustained effort based on national best practices and available evidence. This work is lead by five violence reduction pillars, which reflect a holistic approach to reducing violence, acknowledging that we must focus on individuals, communities, and systems in order to advance this goal.
- Empower and Heal People: It is important to ensure that all residents can pursue opportunities to thrive without fear of violence by providing prevention and intervention supports that are available to individuals of all ages and levels of risk
- Protect and Secure Places: The City must work to reduce the “safety gap” between safer communities and those most affected by violence by reclaiming public places as safe spaces within communities and by promoting community wellbeing with stable housing, amenities, commerce, and opportunities
- Improve and Advance Policing: It is important to increase police legitimacy in communities where trust has eroded by ensuring humane, effective, and constitutional law enforcement practices and by fully implementing the spirit and letter of the consent decree and related reforms
- Affect Public Policy: The City must ensure that laws and policies that govern the city reflect the values, aspirations, and safety of residents by collaborating with stakeholders to implement local policy, and advocate for state and federal policy and legislation related to public safety and violence prevention, with a special focus on criminal justice reform, gun regulation, and equitable quality of life
- Plan and Coordinate: The City will facilitate the development of realistic, actionable plans by promoting alignment on strategy and action among public, private, and community-based efforts to prevent and reduce violence, and by ensuring a citywide commitment to rigorous planning and consistent coordination.
15 Priority Community Areas
Resources must be concentrated in the areas that experience violence the most. The Office of Violence Reduction has focused its efforts on 15 priority community areas, defined by the average number of serious victimizations, which include homicides and non-fatal shooting victimizations, over the past three years. These community areas are outlined here:
Serious victimizations, 3 year average
Serious victimizations are defined by homicides + non-fatal shootings
|COMMUNITY AREA||2018-2020 Rank||2018-2020 3yr average|
|WEST GARFIELD PARK||4||167.7|
|GREATER GRAND CROSSING||8||128.7|
|EAST GARFIELD PARK||10||127.7|
Throughout this work, it is also important that the City is held accountable by objective measures of progress. To that end, this plan includes both progress and outcome measures for each violence reduction pillar along with three main outcome indicators that will allow the City to measure its overall improvement.