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Chicago Mayor, Top Cop Propose Community Policing Facelift

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    "It's time to revitalize the program, by giving District Commanders responsibility and authority to tailor programs for individual communities," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

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    Mayor Emanuel says he wants to revitalize Chicago's 20-year-old community policing program by decentralizing CAPS -- Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy -- resources, allowing more decision making at the district level.

    "Community policing is a philosophy," Emanuel said in a statement. "The strength of that philosophy within the Chicago Police Department and in our communities is more critical now than ever before."

    "It's time to revitalize the program, by giving District Commanders responsibility and authority to tailor programs for individual communities."

    The mayor said the aim of the changes was to provide greater authority and accountability to commanders who will directly be responsible for the success of their district plans and to provide every officer "the tools and training needed to follow those plans, engage residents, and develop relationships that can prevent crime."

    Appearing with Emanuel at a press conference on Chicago's South Side, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said police have already confiscated 180 guns in 2013. He said that demonstrates the "opportunity for more cooperation between residents and officers in removing guns from communities and helping to prevent violence."

    Under the changes announced today, each police district will be assigned a CAPS sergeant and two police officers, as well as a community organizer and a shared youth services provider. 

    "The District Commanders understand the importance of CAPS," McCarthy said in the statement.  "And they also know they are responsible for creating strategies that have a visible impact on crime."