Involving the Community

Wesley G. Skogan

in Police and Community in Chicago

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


Involving the Community

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A central feature of community policing is the breadth and variety of avenues it provides for citizen participation. The public may be expected to be proactive—to act independently on behalf of the community by getting involved in problem-solving projects. These self-help initiatives can range from Saturday-morning alley cleanups to marches confronting drug dealers or street prostitutes. This chapter focuses on citizen involvement in Chicago's community-policing program, CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy), which envisioned an extensive role for the public in its operations. The city's model called for neighborhood residents to help identify problems and formulate solutions to them. They were also called upon to play an active role in solving these problems. In Chicago's plan, beat meetings are the most important mechanism for building and sustaining close relationships between police and the public. Television played little role in encouraging Chicagoans to attend the meetings.

Keywords: Chicago; police; community policing; CAPS; citizen involvement; beat meetings; television

Chapter.  13734 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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