Reflecting on Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson

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Chicago Peace Fellow

On Thursday, May 9, 2019, Peace Fellows Velvian Boswell, Robin Cline and I as well as Goldin Institute staff Travis Rejman and Burrell Poe attended the City Club of Chicago's luncheon with Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Superintendent Johnson stated crime in the City of Chicago is down since 2016 and attributed the decrease to 2000 new recruits since 2017, changes in command staff due to promotions and retirements, and upgrades to technology including a new Strategic Support Center.

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In addition, the superintendent shared details on various neighborhoods and his plans for the summer. Peace Fellow Robin Cline stated, “I’d be interested in hearing more about the pilot program that kicked off in January in the 25th District where they hired 12 new District Coordination Officers.” Robin provided a link to an Austin Weekly article related to the new strategy which emphasizes problem solving through building and maintaining relationships within the communities.

Velvian Boswell shared:

“I’m glad he acknowledged that some of our residents, especially those in the African American community, have been mistreated. I wonder how many of the 2,000 recruits he mentioned were African American. I also wonder what he could have done to benefit the community with the dollars spent on the technology center.”

When asked about his legacy, the Superintendent stated he wants all of Chicago to be proud of its police department. He also said he's hopeful for a more positive narrative about the city.

I wanted to hear more about the Superintendent’s plans for youth and ways to stem violence and promote peace over the summer. I think there should be summer jobs for every youth who wants to work. After leaving the luncheon, I went to the 35th Street CPD main office to work with a group that’s helping young people expunge or seal their records so that they can obtain work.

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