Examining Mayor Brandon Johnson's plan for public safety
Why it matters: Chicago is notorious for violent crime, which has been cited by big businesses and residents as a reason for leaving the city.
The scope: The public safety report features five overarching goals and hundreds of recommendations, metrics and milestones, some of which have already been implemented.
- It focuses mainly on holding the Chicago Police Department accountable and supporting marginalized communities.
The big goal: Improve public safety by improving public confidence in police.
Intriguing recommendations: Establish a new mayor's office of community safety.
More recommendations: Recruit, train and promote 200 new detectives from within the department.
Between the lines: Johnson campaigned on this effort as a way to improve the dismal homicide clearance rate, which is far lower in Black communities than white ones.
Goal 2: Expand services for victims and survivors of violence — individuals who've largely been overlooked in violence prevention efforts in the past.
Intriguing recommendations: Turn shuttered and neglected buildings scattered across Chicago into safe havens for survivors of violence.
- Develop and launch a public education campaign on the effects of violence exposure and how to access community-based services.
What they're saying: The committee lambastes the city and the police force in the report, calling existing policies racist and imploring current leaders to "acknowledge that the government played a role and is directly responsible for the state of violence in our city."
- "It is also true that public safety gains will only be achieved by giving most impacted communities a meaningful voice in the creation of public policies."
The bottom line: The report addresses crucial aspects of public safety that are rarely addressed. But it mainly ignores policing strategy, instead focusing on reform and accountability.
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