Police Beat Meetings to Continue in Northcenter
Despite reports that the CAPS program will be dismantled, meetings are still scheduled. Officials say the program is changing, but will not disappear.
Neighborhood meetings with police officers will continue under the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), Ward 47 Ald. Ameya Pawar said at a Ward Council meeting on Tuesday.
Several residents were concerned about the monthly meetings with police after an Oct. 26 Chicago Reader report said the entire CAPS program would be dismantled in 2013.
Pawar said the program is not going to be dismantled, but pushed to the local level.
CAPS is currently implemented at a citywide level. The new reorganized structure will allow officers to work better with district commanders, headquartered in each neighborhood, Pawar said. CAPS officers would report to each district, rather than offices downtown.
“I think they’re still trying to figure out how it’s going to work,” Pawar said.
Likewise, the CAPS budget will be folded into the overall police department budget.
"Nothing has been changed, so to speak," CAPS director Ron Holt told the Reader.
When Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented the proposed 2013 city budget, he said the CAPS program has become too bureaucratic.
“We will move our CAPS resources and staffing back into the districts where they belong, so that each commander in each district can design their own community policing efforts to fight crime and gangs in their respective neighborhoods,” he said in an address.
CAPS officers hold monthly meetings in each beat and address issues that range from crime reports to crossing guards. A schedule of the beat meetings is on the Chicago Police Department website and the Ward 47 website. The 19th District covers the Northcenter neighborhood.