PUBLIC SAFETY: The Challenge That We Face
- We’re talking about public safety first because no other policies or plans matter if people are afraid to live here. There’s a reason the economy in Chicago is currently growing at half the national rate, our property values are decreasing, and people are leaving city.
- Chicago has become known for our violence, and we have to overcome that. That’s why improving public safety in Chicago is my TOP priority, because nothing else matters if we don’t have neighborhoods people feel safe in.
- The police department has suffered from a lack of resources, and relationships with the community are fractured. Fixing this and getting the police and the community to work together in partnership to fight against criminal activities is my priority, and my plan here will lead to a decrease violence in Chicago.
Here’s the stats—
Under the current administration:
- More than 3,600 people have been killed since 2011.
- More than 15,000 people have been shot and wounded in the city since 2012.
- Since 2015 Vehicular Hijackings have risen 178% Citywide with 700% increases downtown, and rates double or triple what they were in years past in areas like Lakeview, Wicker Park, North Center, and Lincoln Park.
- Crime on the CTA year to date is up 20% from last year, and a 47% increase from 2015, and has been steadily rising.
- There’s been abysmal 17% Clearance Rate in Murders and 4% Clearance Rate in shootings.
o For reference, the clearance rate in NY and LA averages in the 60% range
City Hall’s bad decisions are making a bad situation worse
- A lack of resources and support is severely undermining the Police Department’s’ ability to stem the violence.
- Having too few officers has destroyed Beat Integrity and operational efficiency as Officers are constantly pulled from their regular districts and deployed to “trouble spots” in areas that they are often not familiar with.
- Not providing proper working equipment i.e. enough vehicles, working computers (both in-car and in the Districts), working in-car cameras.
- The decimated detective division struggles to solve crimes, meaning criminals stay on the streets and their crimes continue to escalate
- The current administration has refused to take responsibility for deficiencies in the police department
- “New ideas” are generally “knee jerk reactions” that are aimed at protecting an image and creating the illusion of improvement, with no long-term foresight or strategic planning.
Vallas’ Record as City Budget Director and CPS CEO
- 13,500 police officers including 1,200 Detectives.
- 1-10 Ratio of Sergeants to Police Officers and sufficient number of Training Officers.
- City funded body armor
- Centralized CPS School Police Command led by veteran CPD Commanders.
- Expansion of off duty CPD Police Officer presence in CPS schools.
- Funding to replace the obsolete Police Stations (approx. 14) with modern Police Campuses, including new HQ
- 12 High School based Police and a Firefighter Training Programs
The Vallas Plan to Fix the Public Safety Problems
- Will hire and maintain a 14,000 person sworn police force
- Gradual transition of Chicago Public School and CTA security positions to CPD Officers
- Restoration of the CPD School Police Command Structure
- Modernize and expand police presence and response to the CTA, away from private security similar to CPS plan, and utilize cameras and real time intelligence dispatching to respond to crimes and prevent problems
- Ending the shell games of police hiring numbers
- Return to the level of 1 and 10 Supervisor to Officer ratio.
Maintaining Patrol Assets
- Will ensure the District level officers are not removed from their normal neighborhoods / beats to be sent somewhere else as crime surges.
- Patrol is the backbone of the Department and the first officers that a citizen encounters; they need to build relationships with the community they serve.
- Officers must be properly equipped and trained in order to effectively assist citizens.
Detectives Division Assets
- Return to a 1,200-person Detective Division
- Return to the five Detective Division Areas from the current three
- Hire experienced retired Detectives and Civilian Analysts to aid in Homicide, Shooting, Criminal Sexual Assault, Robbery, Burglary and Vehicular Hijacking investigations
- Provide quality training to ALL sworn members, including critical training in subjects such as Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)
- Creation of the CPD Staff and Command Academy (SCA) to drive leadership development, Police Officer Training and to serve as an R&D center for the identification, vetting and dissemination of best practices.
- Accountability is vital for the Chicago Police Department and the community.
- CPD needs a strong, healthy work culture to operate effectively and to breed a culture of accountability.
- No directives alone will provide the infrastructure of accountability needed to solve the problems CPD faces; only a long term strategic shift in culture can do that.
- When trust is gained and the community sees that officer as a person they will call the police more, are more likely to talk to the police, and to work in partnership to fight against criminal activities
- Internal and external checks and balances will make sure officers carry out their duties properly and act with integrity
- Problems will be addressed immediately and transparently; full transparency that can only come with a hybrid civilian representation in the oversight of the Department.
- Public safety is the most fundamental service a government must provide and we must prioritize CPD funding in the budget. Public Safety is Priority #1 and requires an a sufficient and sustained public commitment.
- PILOTS (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) inviting nonprofits and other institutions or organizations that are tax exempt, receive special tax breaks and other preferential treatment, or are the recipients of large City contracts and subsidies
- Reprioritizing of CPD budget priorities and the use of strategic sourcing and leases to reduce costs and to help maintain equipment and keep equipment modern.
- Partnership with the FOP to work together in developing a long term financial plan, that can expand and sustain Police resources and support.
- Shared financing of Chicago Police Officers with other entities such as schools (public and private), CTA, Metra, the Park District, etc.
- Significant overtime savings resulting from an increase in the number of Police Officers, the expansion of support units and the preserving of Beat Integrity.
● Police Enterprise Fund that will secure funds from the confiscation of assets, new fines for gun violations and other income generating activities.