How the Government of Chicago, Illinois Addresses Crime and Public Safety

Violence has been on the rise since the current mayor of Chicago, Illinois took office. In her three full calendar years as mayor, the city has seen an average of 758 homicides - a level not seen since the early 1990s and one of the worst averages in its history. In an effort to address public safety issues and police distrust in minority communities, Rep. Kam Buckner, a Democrat from Chicago and Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Illinois Black Legislative Caucus, spoke about the SAFE-T Act.

This act was the first attempt to tackle these issues and was passed with the support of the Illinois Black Legislative Caucus on January 1st. The Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity Act (SAFE-T Act) abolishes cash bail in Illinois and replaces it with a system that will prioritize the seriousness of a crime, the risk of not appearing in court, and the threat and danger that the person poses to another person or the community if released. Mayor Brandon Johnson has plans to establish new trauma recovery centers in collaboration with the state government to support victims and survivors of crime and domestic violence. He also supports the “Take Chicago Home” ordinance to raise funds for Chicago's “District 51”, which has more than 65,000 homeless people, including nearly 20,000 Chicago public school students and their families. The City of Chicago Mayor's Office and public safety departments are working hard to ensure that all residents have access to safe communities. To this end, they are studying reparation plans for survivors of police torture, closing down Homan Square facility, supporting the expansion and professional development of Reparations Won curriculum in Chicago's public schools, and requesting full funding and construction of a monument to torture survivors in Burge. Data on the effectiveness of these institutions is still emerging but initial results from Richmond are promising; research associates the city's ONS with a 55% reduction in firearm-related homicides and a 43% reduction in firearm-related crimes. John Curran, a Republican from Downers Grove who is a former prosecutor, suggested that instead of completely eliminating cash bail in Illinois, a model similar to New Jersey's should be adopted - one that allows for freedom on cash bail in limited circumstances. People with active certification can legally work in any Illinois agency as law enforcement officers.