Getting The Most Out Of Your Beat Meeting
What Is the Beat Meeting?
Beat meetings are regular (every other month) meetings, held on all 279 beats in the city, where police and community residents meet to exchange information about conditions in the neighborhood, identify crime and disorder problems, and develop strategies to combat those problems.
Why Are Beat Meetings Important?
The purpose of the beat meeting is to allow beat residents, other stakeholders, and police to discuss problem solving using the CAPS 5-step problem-solving process. It also provides an opportunity for them to get to know one another.
Who Conducts the Meeting?
Beat meetings are hosted by the Chicago Police Department and are usually conducted in one of three ways:
1) by a team consisting of a resident beat facilitator (community contact person) and a beat officer.
2) by one or more beat facilitators.
3) by one or more beat officers.
Option 1 is usually considered ideal.
* Beat meetings and problem solving are most effective when they include a broad range of community stakeholders: residents, business owners, and representatives from local schools, churches and neighborhood organizations.
Become Informed Decision-makers
Most of us relate to the crime and disorder problems that are most visible--abandoned cars, parking-related problems, street drug dealing, gang members hanging out, etc. But many of the crime problems on the beat tend to be "invisible", unless we ore our family or friends have been a victim. At each meeting, ask for a beat team presentation on the current crime conditions on the beat. This includes the distribution of the "Top Ten" charts or crime maps. This will ensure you have the whole crime picture before you decide which problems to attack. Once you become aware of all the problems, you may have information that would be helpful to residents and police as they analyze the problems and work on solutions.
Be Prepared to Identify and Discuss Chronic Problems
In determining what to discuss at the meeting, ask the following questions about the problem:
1) Is it of concern to a number of residents/the beat team?
2) Is it likely to go away on its own?
3) Does it persist or return despite traditional law enforcement efforts?
4) Is it something that community, police and City agencies can impact with available resources?
Schedule Problem Solving Training for Your Beat
Contact the Community Education Section of the Chicago Police Department's Education and Training Division, Monday-Friday between 8:00am and 4:00pm, at 312-746-8310.
For More Information:
For more information about how to get involved in community policing in your neighborhood, call: 312-744-CAPS or TTY 312-744-8599.
Visit the CAPS Website at: www.ci.chi.il.us
When you visit the Chicago Police Department's website you can:
* Learn what district and beat you live in
* Find your beat meeting schedule
* Obtain district contact information
* Read CAPS success stories
* Report drug activity anonymously
* Register your bicycle
* Learn more about CAPS