Representing 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:


Representing the Community

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In Chicago's community-policing model, beat meetings are the vehicle for grassroots consultation and collaboration between police and the community. At the meetings, the two sides are to come together to identify local priorities, discuss how both police and residents can best address them, and review their progress in doing so. This chapter explores two questions: Who is “the community” that is being represented? How well are they represented? The possibility that CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) participants would be unrepresentative of the community was encouraged by the way in which Chicago resolved the potentially complicated question of “Who is the community?” The chapter examines the relationship between the demographic representation of beats and the background of those who attend the meetings, including homeowners and Latinos. There was a limited correspondence between residents' views of crime and those of beat-meeting participants.

Keywords: Chicago; police; community policing; CAPS; demographic representation; Latinos; homeowners; crime; beat meetings; community

Chapter.  13882 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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