Attend a Chicago Police CAPS Beat meeting. If you’re like me and concerned about the increase in crime in your area (and that the mainstream media doesn’t always report) consider attending a Chicago Police CAPS Beat meeting. They’re free (well – funded by our tax dollars).
What is CAPS (per CPD website)
CAPS stands for Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. CAPS is a partnership between police and community that is the foundation of community policing. CAPS uses Beats to develop relationships between the community and the police.
Districts and Beats (per CPD website)
The city is divided into 22 police districts. Each district is divided into geographic areas known as Beats. Under CAPS, a team of beat officers (Beat team) is assigned to each of the City’s 267 police beats. Beat officers patrol the same beat on the same watch for at least a year. (A watch is a shift. The CPD workday is divided into three watches – first watch begins at 11 pm or midnight; the second, at 7 or 8 am; and the third, at 3 or 4 pm.).
This allows beat officers and the community to get to know each other. Beat teams are fully equipped, motorized police units. They patrol primarily in their squad cars, but sometimes on foot as well. Beat officers respond to calls for police service on their beats, especially those calls that are of a non-emergency nature.
A Beat Plan is a plan of action developed by the beat team, with input from the community, on significant problems on the beat and how to address them. The framework of analysis is the “crime triangle,” which views each problem in terms of three legs: victim, offender, and location.
Beat Community Meeting
A Beat Community Meeting is a forum held at least quarterly, and often monthly, on each of Chicago’s beats. Police and community members jointly identify, prioritize, and develop strategies to address local crime and disorder problems. My Beat meetings are held every other month and last less than 1 hour. Our meetings actually cover four area beats.
There are 22 districts and districts are grouped into three areas Area Central, Area North and Area South. So if you live at the John Hancock 875 N. Michigan you live in Area Central, District 018, Beat 1833. Your district homepage will post Community Alerts, Most Wanted, Events and more.
Find your Beat Meeting
You can look at your District homepage under Events. Mine didn’t show any Beat meetings. You can also check your Alderman’s website. Alderman Reilly lists them on his calendar. My neighborhood association has it is up on their website and sends out email reminders. You can look for your neighborhood association on your Alderman’s website. Some post a list. You can also call or email your alderman for meeting info.
Main downtown neighborhood associations
Find crime in your area – Hours of fun!
The CPD publishes weekly crime reports here. Boring. You can have hours of fun looking at Chicago Police Department Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting Map application (CLEARmap) Map of the district’s crime incidents.
You can search by address, beat, POD (Police Observation Device – cameras), School, Park, Ward or Community. NIBRS is National Incident-Based Reporting System is an incident-based reporting system used by law enforcement agencies in the US for collecting and reporting data on crimes. On the right side you can filter for crime type. Index crimes are more serious offenses. Enjoy the horror!
This only covers an area up to 1/2 mile from an address.
This site seems to come up with more offenders.