Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

Code of silence in Chicago

December 11, 2017

According to this article, Chicago city lawyers abruptly and surprisingly settled a “code of silence” lawsuit just before the case was going to the jury. The civil action against the city claimed that the police department had repeatedly covered up a sergeant’s misconduct, including bar fights and intoxicated driving. During the trial, additional disciplinary documents surfaced that had been withheld. The sergeant’s career ended in 2009 in a drunk driving crash causing two deaths.


Swedes find amazing COP in Elgin

November 4, 2017

This article reports a Swedish delegation’s visit to Elgin, Illinois to study community policing. The agency credits its resident officer program, its neighborhood officer program, “its school resource officers, its summer programs and gang interventions in the schools, and its social worker and senior liaison programs” for a 60% crime drop since 1991. The delegation’s leader said of the visit, “This wasn’t great. This was amazing.”

CAPS rebound in Chicago?

November 4, 2017

Beginning in 1993, Chicago implemented a major community policing initiative — CAPS, the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. An exhaustive 10-year evaluation reported beat meeting attendance at over a half-million residents, increases in public trust, and decreases in crime, disorder, and fear of crime. Starting in the mid-2000s, however, the city reduced CAPS funding in favor of other priorities. This article reports a proposed budget increase for community policing in FY 2018, possibly signaling a shift back toward the once-successful CAPS approach.

Crime guns in Chicago

October 31, 2017

This report analyzes Chicago crime gun trace information for the period 2013-2016. Per capita, Chicago PD recovers 6 times more guns than NYPD and 65% more than LAPD. Tracing indicates that about 40% were purchased in Illinois (mainly in suburban Cook County), 20% in Indiana, and the remaining 40% in other states. Adult suspects accounted for 87% of crime guns and 90% of seized firearms were handguns.

More on proprietary big data systems

August 12, 2017

This article reports the experiences of several law enforcement agencies with Palantir’s data analysis systems. The company’s hardware and software systems, originally developed for intelligence agencies, help with integration and visualization of data stored in multiple “silos.” LAPD was able to cut the time required to produce Chronic Offender Bulletins from an hour to 3-5 minutes, which helped reduce violent crime in one target district by 15%. The systems are very expensive, however, and some users complain about hard-to-use software, costly upgrades, poor technical support, incompatibility with non-Palantir systems used by other agencies, and generally being at the mercy of the company once its products have been purchased and installed.

Re-energizing COP in Chicago

August 11, 2017

It might surprise some to know that Chicago had an innovative city-wide community policing strategy in the 1990s and early 2000s (known as CAPS) that was carefully evaluated, showing positive results. This article and this press release indicate that a new advisory committee is recommending the city return to that strategy as part of its response to current issues and problems. The committee’s report is here.

External review progress in Chicago

July 12, 2017

Chicago’s new Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) will replace the former Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) on September 15. The new agency is guaranteed funding of 1% of the police budget and will have 140 full-time employees, including 90 investigators. This article reports that COPA will also contract with technical experts in areas such as use of force, ballistics, and accident reconstruction to further its independence from the city’s police department.

Resident officers in Elgin & Rockford

July 1, 2017

This article reports that Rockford is adopting a resident officer program pioneered a couple of decades ago in Elgin, another Illinois city. The program gives officers rent-free homes in at-risk neighborhoods in return for a 2-5 year commitment. In Elgin, the chief and several commanders are alums of the program — one says “It’s a position that really builds great police officers.”

Pipeline to trouble starts early

April 28, 2017

According to this article, Illinois has a high rate of suspensions of kids from state-funded preschools. A coalition of police chiefs and prosecutors argues this is counter-productive and is asking the legislature to implement consistent standards for these preschools and professional development for their staffs.

Evidence management & control

March 8, 2017

One topic that doesn’t always get a lot of attention is evidence management, yet every police department comes into possession of drugs, cash, jewelry, and other valuable property. This article notes “weekly news accounts of police departments whose evidence rooms have been jeopardized due to lost or stolen evidence” and discusses the use of modern systems and technology for better control and risk reduction.