Chapter

Police and the Public

Wesley G. Skogan

in Police and Community in Chicago

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195154580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944033 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154580.003.0061

Series: STUDIES CRIME

Police and the Public

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One goal of Chicago's community-policing initiative, CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy), was to build popular confidence in the responsiveness and effectiveness of the police. This chapter examines the changing views of Chicagoans about their police as CAPS took root in the city. Police gained significant support over time, and they did so among all major groups. This can be attributed in large part to improving neighborhood conditions. Many—but not all—Chicagoans felt their neighborhoods were growing cleaner, safer, and more comfortable as places to live, and official rates of crime were declining. These improvements in quality of life benefited the police. Some of the remaining gaps between views of whites and African Americans can be ascribed to personal experience. At least some of the improved rating of the Chicago police was “earned” by improving neighborhood conditions, and a bit was earned by effective community outreach. It is necessary to consider the enduring gap between the city's whites, Latinos, and African Americans.

Keywords: Chicago; police; community policing; CAPS; crime; whites; Latinos; African Americans; personal experience; community outreach

Chapter.  12389 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Theory

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