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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Chicago and Community Policing

How did the changing political landscape in Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s impact the implementation of community policing? Did the increasing cultural variation in the workforce in Chicago law enforcement agencies influence the beginning of the community policing movement? How?

The changing political environment between 1969 and 1991 can be demonstrated by two cases that bookend this era. Both cases involve violence on the part of the Chicago PD, and both have been portrayed as racist. Although an actual examination of these cases show a retaliatory motive for the actions of the policemen involved, the portrayal of these cases as racist damaged relations between the Department and the black community. In addition, the cases muddied the water regarding an objective accounting of the prevalence of truly racist actions taken by members of Chicago PD
The first case was the assassination of Black Panther Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969. As part of the COINTELPRO program, FBI agents had been pressuring CPD into working action against Hampton, newly appointed as the Chief of Staff for the Black Panthers. The agents tried several times to involve CPD without success(Gentry, 1991, p. 620-621)...until the ambush and murder of Chicago Police officers Frank G. Rappaport and John Gilhooly by the Black Panthers, “a racist, radical group that professed the murders of law enforcement officers” (Officers Down Memorial Page, 2012, para. 2, 4). On November 21, the CPD agreed to take a role, and in the early morning of December 4, a combined agency strike force kicked in the door of the apartment in a raid that eliminated two Black Panthers including Hampton and captured five others(Gentry, 1991, p. 621). The term “assassination”can be used, as the layout of the apartment including the bed in which Hampton slept was known, and pictures of the scene show bullet holes in the wall at that location. Due to the reluctance of CPD to participate until the murders of it's own, it is likely that the basis for action was retaliatory as opposed to racist.
The second case can be seen in the 1989 and subsequent trials of Jon Burge for torturing suspects. This case was based on the murders of Patrolmen William P. Fahey and Richard J. O'Brien. “The shootings brought to four the number of officers fatally shot in Chicago that month” (LaPeter, 2004, para. 11). Burge was accused of torturing suspect Andrew Wilson, who went to the hospital for injuries sustained as a result. LaPeters accuses Burge of using torture on suspects for twenty years (2004, para. 4). Burge was never convicted on charges related to torture, but was eventually convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. Considering the original crime, and that the bulk of other torture allegations were in capitol cases, it is likely that Burge's criminal acts were of a retaliatory nature.
Even so, the charges of racism create an environment in which a community that likely suffers from actual cases of police racism is subjected to propaganda, and not modes of creating harmony between police and the community they serve. One goal of Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), Chicago's community policing project, is to create a “stronger government-community partnership” (Daley & Rodriguez, 1993, p. 12). However, Daley and Rodriguez don't discuss the racial perceptions of that partnership, nor the role that minority officers play in it. The Chicago PD does understand that minority relations are important: in 2000, a meeting was held to discuss what needed to be done to strengthen that partnership, “Strengthening Relations Between Police and Minority Communities: Ensuring accountability for effective policing in Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods” (Chicago Police Department). Even so, minority recruitment onto the force was not brought up as an issue. Perhaps CPD was not sure this was an effective solution. Weitzer, Tuch, and Skogan discuss the perceptions that black communities hold of their local police departments, and did not find a consistent relationship between positive views of police and minority makeup of police forces, but rather suggested further testing on the matter (2008, pp. 421-422).

Chicago Police Department. (2000). Strengthening relations between police and minority communities: Ensuring accountability for effective policing in Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. Retrieved May 22, 2015 from https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/ portal/ClearPath/News/Statistical%20Reports/Other%20Reports/RaceRelations.pdf

Daley, R. and Rodriguez, M. (1993). A strategic plan for reinventing the Chicago Police Department: Together we can. Chicago Police Department. Retrieved May 22, 2015 from http://www.popcenter.org/library/unpublished/OrganizationalPlans/

Gentry, C. (1991). J. Edgar Hoover: the man and the secrets. New York: Norton.
LaPeter, L. (2004, August 29). Torture allegations dog ex-police officer. St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved May 22, 2015 from http://www.sptimes.com/2004/08/29/Worldandnation/Torture_allegations_d.shtml

The Officer Down Memorial Page. (2012).Patrolman Frank G. Rappaport. Retrieved May 22, 2015 from http://www.odmp.org/officer/11010-patrolman-frank-g-rappaport

Weitzer,R., Tuch,S., and Skogan, W. (2008). Police–community relations in a majority-black city. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 45(4). Retrieved May 22, 2015 from http://skogan.org/files/Police_Community_Relations_in_a_Majority_Black_City.pdf

a good point about revenge.  Although such attacks are rare, McGovern found that 51% of targeted revenge attacks against criminal justice professionals took place at their home (2013, p. 2).
Going past that issue, we move into issues of personal liberty.  Individuals in this country can choose where and how they live based upon their means and desires.
And while it is expected that sworn officers are "on duty" 24/7, in reality, we all need down time, and dealing with job related stress I would suggest this is more important to policemen.
On the other hand, considering budget resources, how about the idea of establishing "barracks" in high crime residential areas, with officers are paid extra to live in and be there for emergency situations  ( an officer would not only have to live in the neighborhood, but would have to spend a minimum amount of verifiable hours in the that neighborhood)?  Optimally, you would have several officers sharing a house to minimize revenge risks.

McGovern, G. (2013). Murdered justice: An exploratory study of targeted attacks on the justice community.  Police Chief Magazine.  Retrieved May 23, 2015 from

Although the term "police riot" is often used to describe the CPD's reaction to the rioters at the Democrat National Convention in 1968 it is rarely mentioned that violent confrontation is what the leftists of SDS were seeking to create.  Altough the reforms of the mid-60's had achieved great progess in areas the radicals claimed to support, they resorted to "terror tactics" (Mallin, 1971, p.19).  Many SDS  member found cooperation with NCAAP to be "immoral", for example
(George, 1996), p. 128). .While SDS and other New Left groups were unable to explain exactly what the "imperialism" they fought against was (Varon, 2004, p.51), they had no difficulty in declaring their support for the Marxist position.  In this environment, Leftist assaults on policemen were increasing; by 1970 the number of policemen killed had quadrupled the average rate of the previous years
(Mallin, 1971, p.18). It was in this environment of hatred for America and leftist violence that SDS leaders organized the riot, "they knew that a confrontation in the streets of Chicago...would explode in political shocks..."(Collier & Horowitz, 2006, pp. 144-145).  This type of planned violence is characteristic of a movement (SDS) in which "the rights of the majority are held in derision, and political opponents are prevented from speaking out" (Gerberding & Smith, 1970, p. 25). 
Collier, P., & Horowitz, D. (2006). Destructive generation: second thoughts about the sixties. San Francisco: Encounter Books.

Gerberding, W., & Smith, D. (Eds.). (1970). The radical Left:The abuse of discontent. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

George, J. (1996). American extremists: militias, supremacists, klansmen, communists & others. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books.

Mallin, J. (Ed.). (1971). Terror and urban guerrillas; a study of tactics and documents. Coral Gables, Fla: University of Miami Press.

Varon, J. (2004).
Bringing the war home: the Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and revolutionary violence in the sixties and seventies. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Community policing isn't really a new concept, as much as a way to attempt to integrate sometimes conflicting goals of the police mission.   Wilson explains the dilemma from a pre "community policing" perspective.  One one hand, a goal of policework is the maintenance of public order; a goal that members of the community may disagree on how to best achieve, or even on a common definition of order ( apply cultural conflict models here).  The other goal is law enforcement; a goal that some methods of achieving place the police into conflict with the community.
It is interesting that Wilson suggests dividing police forces into components specializing in each function, one group devoted to public order and the other into law enforcement.
On a last note, Wilson discusses the use of intelligence to identify "bad actors" in a neighborhoods years before the ILP model is developed.  Very few of the community policing models are "new", but it seems that some models apply to some situations while others don't, and that these situations change.
Wilson, J. Q. (1968). Dilemmas of Police Administration. Public Administration Review, 28(5).

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