Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson today announced new investments in police technology to aid in preventing, combating and responding to violent crime and apprehending offenders. The investment includes the expansion of CPD's smart policing strategy to seven more districts and adding hundreds more License Plate Readers (LPRs) to new police patrol vehicles.
“As we head into the fall, we must continue to focus on the safety and security of our city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “While we are adding nearly 1,000 officers and supporting smart, proactive policing citywide, we are also making critical investments to expand and sustain youth mentoring programs, summer jobs and after-school programs. Both – not either – are working to drive declines in crime and support a brighter future for the city’s youth.”
CPD will expand its smart policing strategy and bring proactive policing technologies to the 14th (Shakespeare), 17th (Albany Park), 18th (Near North), 19th (Town Hall), 20th (Lincoln), 22nd (Morgan Park), and 24th (Rogers Park) Districts. The expansion follows two years of consecutive declines in violent crime citywide, led by this strategy. In each of the districts, new station-based strategic nerve centers, mobile technology, and crime cameras will be deployed to assist in district-level crime strategies and investigations. With this expansion, CPD will be implementing its smart policing strategy in 20 of Chicago’s 22 police districts. These efforts have contributed to nearly two years of consecutive declines in violent crime, including 18% fewer shooting victims citywide and a 20% decline in murders citywide over 2017.
“Our smart policing strategy leveraging the power of data, technology and precision community-centric policing is allowing us to make considerable progress to reduce gun violence across our city,” Superintendent Johnson. “I am pleased that we will be able to expand this vital model in our city.”
This strategic expansion of predictive policing technology follows a pilot implemented in March in the 12th (Near West) district, which was facing the primary challenge of violent crimes such as robberies and carjackings as well as, to a lesser extent, gun violence. There CPD installed a station-based strategic nerve center and additional crime cameras, which have supported a 37% reduction in shooting incidents, 64% reduction in murders, 35% reduction in carjackings, 20% reduction in burglaries and 15% reduction in robberies.
CPD is also expanding the License Plate Reader (LPR) technology to 200 more patrol vehicles to quickly identify stolen cars, reduce carjackings and recover stolen vehicles. This investment brings the police fleet of LPR-equipped vehicles to more than 240, in addition to 126 LPR pole mounted units and mobile booter vehicles that are utilized by partner city agencies, including the Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC) and the Department of Finance (DOF). The LPR technology allows the City to match license plates against the list of stolen vehicles sent to the LPRs daily by the OEMC. If a reader detects a license plate from a vehicle reported as stolen, officers are immediately notified by the system and can then conduct a stop to investigate further. Since this program launched in March, DOF booter vehicles have identified 750 hits from the stolen vehicle list.
This investment builds on the City’s strategy for combating carjacking and car thefts. Thanks to the citywide coordinate effort, carjackings are down 13%, and carjacking arrests are up 39% compared to last year. This strategy includes the Vehicular Hijacking Taskforce, a multi-agency vehicular hijacking task force comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement partners and prosecutors who work together to identify carjacking patterns and apprehend targeted offenders. Additionally, CPD’s manpower continues to grow with new graduates leaving the Academy each month, allowing district command staff to focus resources towards those committing violent carjackings.
During 2017, CPD implemented smart policing strategies in six police districts on the south and west sides where gun violence presented the greatest challenge for decades - 6th (Gresham), 7th(Englewood), 9th (Deering), 10th (Ogden), 11th (Harrison), and 15th (Austin). In 2018, this technology was expanded to the 2nd (Wentworth), 3rd (Grand Crossing), 4th (South Chicago), 5th (Calumet), 8th (Chicago Lawn), 12th (Near West), 18th (Near North), and 25th (Grand Central) Districts.
In the new districts, a station-based nerve center as well as additional POD crime cameras will be installed. The district-based nerve centers house an unprecedented collaboration between civilian analysts who provide data and analysis, police officers who use that information to make critical deployment decisions most effective strategies in real time, and County, state and federal law enforcement officials to effectively investigate and prosecute targeted cases.
Strategic Decision Support Centers
A Strategic Decision Support Center (SDSC) will be installed in the 14th (Shakespeare), 17th (Albany Park), 19th (Town Hall), 20th (Lincoln),22nd (Morgan Park), and 24th (Rogers Park) Districts that will utilize existing data sources within CPD, such as offender criminal history databases and past crime data. The new nerve centers will place all this information it into a single, usable platform to help district command staff and officers plan for patrol deployments or prepare to respond to a call for service. The new centers will each be staffed with civilian analysts who will analyze crime trends and coordinate with uniformed staff to deliver up to the minute information directly to patrol units in the field.
POD Crime Cameras Expansion
The City will install additional high definition POD crime cameras at strategic locations in the newly-equipped smart policing districts. The real-time monitoring also serves as a force multiplier because it provides critical information for better, more timely resource allocation.
CPD will issue mobile phones equipped with crime analysis tools to every beat officer working in SDSC districts. These devices give real-time access to district intelligence information to police officers in the field, helping them determine deployment strategies based on historical crime data. This mobile technology will allow for smarter, data driven patrols and significantly decreased response times to potential service calls.