* Governing Magazine…
Cities’ police officer per capita rates vary depending on a range of factors. In 2016, police departments serving cities with populations exceeding 25,000 employed an average of 16.8 officers and 21.4 total personnel for every 10,000 residents.
* I looked at the ten most populous American cities and what follows is a ranking in order of police officers per 10,000 population according to Governing. The numbers in parentheses are murder and nonnegligent manslaughter per 100,000 people per year…
Chicago 43.9 (24.13)
New York City 42.3 (3.39)
Philadelphia 40.2 (20.06)
Dallas 24.8 (12.48)
Los Angeles 24.6 (7.01)
Houston 22.2 (11.50)
Austin 18.9 (2.57)
Phoenix 17.4 (9.55)
San Antonio 14.4 (8.15)
San Diego 12.8 (2.46)
San Jose 9.0 (3.08)
Chicago ranks first in both categories.
* Now, keep in mind that the above police force numbers are from 2016…
Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a plan in 2016 to increase the number of police officers by 1,000 over two years in response to a significant increase in gun violence that year. At the end of 2018 the City announced that its hiring plan was complete, with more patrol officers, detectives and leadership positions (sergeants and lieutenants). By 2019, the Police Department had about 1,200 more budgeted positions than it had in 2016.
So, Chicago’s per capita police officer numbers are even higher than the above chart shows.
* From yesterday’s press conference by Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown…
During his news conference, Brown also rejected a notion popular with University of Chicago criminologists who work closely with the police department. He said the violence cannot be blamed on easy access to guns.
“I’m from Texas,” Brown said, noting that state’s high number of firearms. “Houston, San Antonio and Dallas have lower murder rates.”
He said that shows it would be possible for Chicago to tamp down its infamous gun violence.
The key, Brown said, is building a public safety infrastructure that combines policing, street outreach work and investments in poor neighborhoods. He said that collaboration is just getting off the ground and is “obviously not mature.”
The overall story was basically a hit piece on Brown. But as I told subscribers this morning, the “street outreach work” is actually a sophisticated and do-able approach to addressing this problem…
An epidemiologist by training, [Dr. Gary Slutkin] is the executive director of Cure Violence. Cure Violence is a Chicago-based non-profit organization founded in 2000 by Slutkin in affiliation with the University of Illinois–Chicago School of Public Health.
Dr. Slutkin asserts that gun violence is an infectious disease. Like tuberculosis, gun violence exhibits the following definitional signs and symptoms of infectious disease:
• Contagion: one event leads to another which leads to another
• Predictive morbidity (injury) and mortality (death)
• Pattern distribution: it spreads in predictable ways
• Pattern disruption: targeted interventions can slow and reverse its spread
Accordingly, Cure Violence treats violence as an infectious disease. The organization goes to violent urban neighborhoods where it intervenes to interrupt gun violence and limit its spread.
The organization operates in over 30 cities worldwide and reduces violence by pursuing three well-defined strategies:
• Detecting and interrupting conflicts;
• Identifying and treating high-risk individuals; and
• Changing social norms
Until March 2015, Cure Violence operated in 14 high-risk Chicago neighborhoods. They embedded trained “violence interrupters” and “behavioral change agents” within high-risk communities. These trained professionals identify signs of impending violence and intervene to cool tempers, buy time and shift perspectives. Their “signal” network includes local organizations (e.g. hospitals) to identify signs of brewing trouble. [Emphasis added.]
And then Gov. Bruce Rauner zero-funded the effort with all too predictable results.