CeaseFire: Is This the Start of Private Policing

Picture courtesy of The Sixth Ward Blog

City of Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy attended a forum this past Saturday in Chatham at St. Mark UMC that was sponsored by the Greater Chatham Alliance.

The Superintendent answered questions moderated by WVON radio personality Cliff Kelley. McCarthy answered questions on gun control, conceal and carry and future policing strategy in his hour long presentation. McCarthy addressed a hot button Chicago's Police Department relationship with Ceasefire. McCarthy feels it could work and was positive that a working relationship will come about. He stated the $1.0 million grant comes from the Dept. of Health and not the police and there will be additional police hired. He further interated that 45 recruits were preparing to go into the academy and did not expect

I'm aware of what CeaseFire is and what they do and have o problem with it. But, McCarthy also brought up an issue that current and former Chicago Police Department personnel have discussed at 6th ward community meetings The issue of answering "low priority" service calls. One of the issues that consistently comes up at community meetings whether its the 3,5,6 or 7th district involved is response time. The answer is always that CPD is inundated with these "low priority" calls. McCarthy stated that these calls will be answered by beat officers after "high priority" calls are answered. The local commander could not elaborate because he was not in attendance.

Recently, it appears that major announcements are timed with other announcements to follow. The city announces they will close the Red Line for 5 months and its coincidental that the city gets a $20 million grant to upgrade the 95th Street station. Previously, it was announced that officers assigned to traffic would be reassigned to street duty and traffic would be outsourced to a civilian force. It was also announced that paring enforcement would be outsourced to a civilian force. While the makeup of Ceasefire will never lead to them obtaining police powers. So is Ceasefire the test to begin the outsourcing low priority situations to private security? Several communities are already looking at creating residential Special Service Areas (SSA's) for security. So is it far fetched to believe that private security or some of the local university's police force can or will be used to answer these "low priority" calls?

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  • In one sense, your headline was about 10 years behind the times, and you can throw the Guardian Angels into the same mix.

    Probably the more relevant question based on the body of your post is "what do the police consider a 'low priority' service call?" The impression most get (at least who don't live there) is that most of the calls are "child found shot at the corner of --- and ---, and taken to other than Comer Hospital." That obviously isn't low priority. But if the police can't get to that because someone's cat is up a tree, that is low priority. Thus, was that definition discussed at the meeting?

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