Your neighbors have once again focused attention on a major issue for many Chicago neighborhoods. We appeared on Fox News again last night.
The lack of police response to certain types of 911 calls in our neighborhood has contributed to a diminished quality of life in Chicago’s less affluent wards and districts. We are pleased that the Better Government Association has joined us in demanding data from the Office of Emergency Management (OEMC) that can be used to ensure fair and equitable police allocation for all communities. How can you manage police allocation if not by the level of crime? We all have a right to know whether our community suffers from long waits or no service at all because the other communities have more officers assigned due to political clout. The OEMC argues that providing response times will somehow alert the criminals that they can conduct more crimes if they expose that data. We believe there are many ways to mitigate this fear. If we simply setup four data buckets and lump the total number of calls dispatched by priority (and not by type) within 15 minutes, then total number of calls dispatched within 30 minutes, and the total number of calls dispatched after 30 minutes and total number of calls not dispatched at all; couple that with total number of officers available for dispatch during those target days across all wards, and we can began to understand how to allocate officers. We believe this longstanding problem may be a human rights issue when you deny specific communities equitable city resources while collecting tax dollars from all. We hope the city respects all communities regardless of wealth or political power. We also hope that open air drug dealing, street gambling and public drinking do not become simply a quality of life 911 call that continues to not merit a response.
We seek a comprehensive solution for all of Chicago that includes:
- Off-load some types of 911 calls to other agencies thereby freeing up more community police officers
- Police re-allocated monthly based on actual crime
- Standard levels of service for all communities where we share equally in managed response times for each call type priority
- More beat officers who actually live and work in our community and fewer roving units with no ties to our neighborhoods
- Specific training on how best to interact with our youth where a record and incarceration is the last resort
- Develop a city wide process and protocol for addressing drug dealers, substance abusers and loitering that removes them from the streets but makes incarceration and a criminal record the last resort.
- Engage our City’s best minds to create the Chicago “System of Healing” instead of a “System of Incarceration” for our citizens, neighbors and youth to be “Caught Up In” that deploys the same investment as our prison industry.
To view the Fox News story aired last night, please click on the link below: