What will this engagement actually look like?

The Policing Project has been building relationships with residents in 25, the NPI  pilot district, to get to know the neighborhoods as closely as possible.  We will be using input and ideas to create settings where people can feel comfortable talking openly and honestly about policing in their neighborhoods, and about what will work and what will not. The community engagement process that results will be designed based on this input, and will ensure that people can have the most organic and constructive conversations possible.

Why should I sit down with the police?

The goal of our project is to change the dynamic between CPD and you – the people it serves. Communities will be part of the actual decision-making process of how they are policed. Rather than being driven by what the police have always done, this is about Chicago communities coming together to identify problems and develop solutions, and to guide police efforts. 

What happens if there is a new police commander?

Many people in the community complain about how often commanders transition in and out of districts, and that is something CPD must hear and respond to.  At the same time, successful, community oriented, policing should not depend on any one person.  The goal is for CPD and the communities it polices to come to a shared understanding of what policing should look like that permeates every level of the Department and does not depend on one person.

We are not New York. How will you know what will work in Chicago?

The Policing Project has worked closely with Chicagoans in the community and at CPD to listen to them and hear what they think will work in Chicago.  Our organization’s mission is bringing community voice to policing.  We have Chicagoans and former Chicagoans working with us on our team. We are and will continue to facilitate and moderate conversations among residents and police officials, who know these communities better than anyone else.

Will NYU come in as an academic experiment and then leave?

No. We are here to help Chicago develop a new model of policing grounded in community engagement.  We will work closely with the community and CPD to help this model succeed, and then work to develop training and related materials so it can be spread throughout the city. Our goal is to be here to help CPD implement these changes – working out any issues that arise, course-correcting when necessary, and helping to celebrate the victories when they come.

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