CPD Launches Community Safety Team & Critical Incident Response Team

Sudden and rapid increases in the rate of index crimes have occurred citywide in recent weeks, and Chicagoans are understandably concerned about their safety. In response, Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown has announced the launch of two new citywide teams that focus on combating violent crime, strengthening community relationships, and ensuring the safety of residents during large-scale events, marches, and demonstrations.

The Community Safety Team and the Critical Incident Response Team will work to improve public safety throughout Chicago, with the Community Safety Team focusing on strengthening community partnerships, and the Critical Incident Response Team concentrating on large, public events. Officers working on the teams come from Area Gang, Gun, Saturation, and Community Area Response teams.

The new Community Safety Team is designed to partner with local stakeholders to address violence, neighborhood concerns, and ongoing conflicts. The Community Safety Team consists of nearly 300 officers who will be deployed to scenes of shootings and robberies throughout the city, and will also work with community-based organizations, faith leaders, and neighborhood leaders to address the inequalities and injustice that seed the bitter fruits of violent crime.

The new Critical Incident Response Team consists of approximately 250 officers and is responsible for ensuring the safety of residents and visitors during times of mass gatherings. This unit will undergo specialized training and supervision, and will operate with appropriate field protocols for maintaining a presence at lawful gatherings (e.g., expressions of First Amendment rights), separate and distinct from an appropriate response to unlawful criminal activity (e.g., looting, mob actions, multiple offender incidents). As part of the new citywide team, the Department’s bike teams and the detail unit now fall under Critical Incident Response Team.

In addition, the Strategic Decision Support Center continues to supplement street resources, and can be quickly realigned as needed, to focus on rapidly developing events. The SDSC has been instrumental in a number of recent arrests downtown, and has acted upon information provided by concerned citizens. As always, residents are urged to call 911 to report any illegal activity they may have observed.