PHONE: 773-283-3838 FAX: 773-283-3235 EMAIL: email@example.com
Alderman Sposato is committed to keeping our ward safe. The 38th Ward is served by one police district, the 16th District.
Link to the 16th District.
Chicago Police Department • 16th District
5151 N Milwaukee Ave
Community Policing Office
Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) was started in 1993 as a pilot program in five diverse neighborhoods. A year later, the Chicago Police Department implemented CAPS all across Chicago. The goal of CAPS is to blend traditional policing strategies with “alternative” strategies aimed at encouraging community members and police to work together to reduce the occurrence of crimes.
This differed from traditional policing methods which in the early 1990s were increasingly isolated from the community. CAPS emphasizes the need for increased lines of communication between the community and the police, so that together they can come up with solutions for chronic neighborhood problems. Their motto is “Together We Can” which promotes the cooperation of police, community and city services in fighting crime.
How Does CAPS Work
Chicago is divided into 25 police districts and further divided into 281 police beats. Beats are small geographic areas to which police officers are assigned. Rather than changing beat officers daily, with CAPS the same officers are assigned to a beat for at least a year.
This is to encourage partnerships and problem solving at the beat level. However, not all officers are beat officers, and some police units still use forms of the traditional method for emergency and rapid response.
Each month, community beat meetings are held in all 279 beats. This allows individual residents to sit down with their beat officers and other police personnel to discuss neighborhood problems and hopefully develop strategies to address them.
Beyond the community, CAPS relies on city agencies and services to prevent crime. The City of Chicago has set up cooperative efforts with the Mayor’s Liquor License Commission, the Department of Streets and Sanitation, the Department of Buildings and other agencies to ensure the police have support from the city to tackle smaller problems like abandoned buildings and graffiti before they lead to more serious crimes.
In 1993, the CAPS Implementation Office was created. This office is staffed by civilian community outreach workers who organize court advocacy programs and coordinate city services in support of CAPS related programs.
How To Get Involved
The best way for an individual to become involved is to attend their local beat meetings. Chicago Police Department lists when and where all beat meetings take place on their website.
The meetings are generally held in a community area, such as a church, park or school. Meetings generally take place monthly at a regular time and place. The CAPS facilitator runs the meetings, moving the meeting along according to an agenda and calling on community members to ask questions. The police do not run the meetings, but they are active members and play a major role in all discussions.
Community members who attend the meeting have the chance to ask questions and voice concerns about crime-related problems in their neighborhood, hear reports by the police on crime activity in their beat, and meet neighbors who are also concerned about the safety of their community.