Crime, Police, and the Three Chicagos

Wesley G. Skogan

in Police and Community in Chicago

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195154580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944033 | DOI:


Crime, Police, and the Three Chicagos

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This chapter describes the condition of the city and the state of police–community relations in Chicago in the early 1990s, providing a baseline from which to assess what happened during the remainder of the decade and into the next, as community policing took hold in the city. In brief, the situation looked grim. In the early 1990s, crime hit record levels. Chicago's population had been declining for forty years, and better-off African Americans already had joined white families in the flight to the suburbs. Those who remained behind were sharply segregated by race, and the racial composition of the city's neighborhoods provided a template that described the distribution of almost every social and physical ill. The relationship between the police and the public was also bad. This was especially true in the eyes of African Americans and Latinos, although there was evidence that Chicagoans of all races thought that, in important ways, police were not doing a very good job. As Chicago's community-policing program developed, whites, African Americans, and Latinos adopted distinctive patterns of involvement in it.

Keywords: Chicago; police; community policing; crime; race; whites; African Americans; Latinos

Chapter.  11028 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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