CAPS is Dead? Finally?
- Chicago police officials are contradicting each other and withholding information about the future of the program designed to open communication networks with the community.
On Friday afternoon, the director of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, or CAPS, added the latest twist, denying that anything will be different next year—except where it is.
"Nothing has been changed, so to speak," says CAPS director Ron Holt.
As I reported earlier, the budget for the CAPS central office has been cut from about $4.6 million this year to zero for 2013.
When your job (or your entire department/division/bureau) ends up as a line item of "ZERO," that usually means something is up.
- While monthly or semimonthly beat meetings are scheduled to continue, police superintendent Garry McCarthy said this week that he wants to dramatically revamp things so that district commanders decide what to do with CAPS beat by beat.
"I want a philosophy of policing. I don't want a program, and CAPS is actually a program," McCarthy said. "We haven't finished all the details on this now, but the fact is that we're distributing all the CAPS folks out into the districts, into the district commanders' hands, where it's localized and they have a better handle on what's going on."
Aldermen repeatedly asked just how this new form of community policing would work, but McCarthy struggled to explain it—probably because, as he admitted, he didn't know himself just yet.
"This is all being built as we speak," he said.
That sounds ominous. But Wysinger has a different song book that he's singing from:
- First deputy superintendent Al Wysinger added that Holt and other top CAPS officials—those who've been responsible for implementing community outreach citywide—would likely be given other duties. "We don't know where they're going to fit per se," he said.
In the real world, that would be a kiss of death - but CAPS has had so many pronouncements of its demise (and it is the Halloween season where the dead walk....and vote) that we can't really believe it.
Labels: department issues