CPS Launches High School Crime-Fighting Program

CompStat method will have principals, police holding weekly meetings to discuss crime-fighting strategies

When Rahm Emanuel chose Jean-Claude Brizard to head the Chicago Public Schools and Garry McCarthy to lead the Chicago Police Department, many likely didn't suspect that those two men would be working as closely together as they apparently will be.

A crime-fighting approach developed in New York City -- where McCarthy spent seven years prior to coming to Chicago -- is on its way to Chicago high schools, the trio announced Wednesday.

"I want our children to have a mindset that it's safe to go to school and to be in school," Emanuel said during a press conference at John Marshall Metropolitan High School announcing the expansion of the CompStat program.

The program brings police, principals and religious leaders together on a weekly basis to discuss crime and safety plans, analyze data and continually evaluate the implementation of those plans.

High schools in Englewood and Chicago Lawn Districts will be the first to start the CompStat method beginning Dec. 13.

"I'm sure that this is going to provide a great level of safety for our kids, in a more efficient manner, and will get the job done better," said McCarthy.

The announcement comes on the same day that CPS announced another round of school closings, sparking fear in some parents who say their children have to cross gang-infested areas to get to school.

Emanuel said the dual announcements, as well as this fall's stronger curfew ordinance, were all about improving safety.

"Failure is not acceptable. We owe it to our children as adults to give them an education and to give them a safe environment," he said. "I've been talking about this for a long time... When it comes to the safety of our children, when it comes to making sure we're using our resources right, there's not a day that any of my commissioners can take a rest of that effort."

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