Reengineering the Police

Wesley G. Skogan

in Police and Community in Chicago

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


Reengineering the Police

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Chicago's community-policing initiative was formally inaugurated in April 1993. Dubbed CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy), the program was developed, tested, and refined over a fifteen-month period in five experimental districts. Community policing was eventually expanded to encompass all twenty-five police districts and to involve almost every city agency. By 1998, however, the program was dead in the water. A new generation of leaders within the police department saw an opportunity to implement new management initiatives aimed at revitalizing CAPS and other important aspects of the department. Among their solutions was the introduction of a management-accountability system resembling—on the surface—New York City's famous CompStat process. This chapter describes the program and examines the obstacles to making it work, along with the police department's struggle to overcome those obstacles. Chicago's program touched base with the three major elements that make up community-policing initiatives around the country: community involvement, problem solving, and reorganization.

Keywords: Chicago; police; community policing; CAPS; management-accountability system; community involvement; problem solving; reorganization

Chapter.  19242 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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