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Lightfoot, CPD Expanding Neighborhood Policing Initiative To 3 More Districts

CHICAGO (CBS)-- Mayor Lightfoot joined CPD Supt. David Brown Thursday to announce the expansion of the Neighborhood Policing Initiative.

Rather than calling 911 for local non-emergency public safety issues, officials said, residents can call their local District Coordination Officers directly. The goal is to build trust and relationships between officers and the communities they serve.

"DCOs have an opportunity and responsibility over define geography within a community, they hand out business cards with their names, cell phone numbers and email addresses and speak one on one with residents about their concerns," Lightfoot said. 

Supt. Brown said DCOs will start their training next month. There will be two DCO's for at least three beats, which range in size.

Officials said the initiate works to cut down on 911 calls. Brown said building trust is the foundation for reducing crime and specifically violent crime. 

"There are many public safety concerns that don't warrant a call to 911, the DCOs are tasked with answering those calls in addressing such issues, problems," Brown said.

The Neighborhood Policing Initiative was launched as a pilot program in CPD's 25th district in the Grand Central Community in January of 2019. The program will be expanded to the 9th 10th and 11th districts.

"This program is fundamentally about problem solving, one in which residents, identify geographically specific problems, and an officer dedicated to that geography is called upon to address those hyperlocal problems in a responsive innovative, an accountable way," Lightfoot said. 

As part of our 90 day policing and reform deadline, Lightfoot said CPD will also be piloting the new Community Training Academy, a three-day training program that will be included during the training for new DCOs.

The academy will provide community-based and community-specific training for the DCOs and officers assigned to the district's community policing officers.

"The DCOs are a face, a name and a phone number that can be relied upon for help," Brown said. 

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