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Police and Community in ChicagoA Tale of Three Cities$
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Wesley G. Skogan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195154580

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154580.001.0001

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Crime, Police, and the Three Chicagos

Crime, Police, and the Three Chicagos

(p.21) Two Crime, Police, and the Three Chicagos
Police and Community in Chicago

Wesley G. Skogan

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the condition of the city and the state of police–community relations in Chicago in the early 1990s, providing a baseline from which to assess what happened during the remainder of the decade and into the next, as community policing took hold in the city. In brief, the situation looked grim. In the early 1990s, crime hit record levels. Chicago's population had been declining for forty years, and better-off African Americans already had joined white families in the flight to the suburbs. Those who remained behind were sharply segregated by race, and the racial composition of the city's neighborhoods provided a template that described the distribution of almost every social and physical ill. The relationship between the police and the public was also bad. This was especially true in the eyes of African Americans and Latinos, although there was evidence that Chicagoans of all races thought that, in important ways, police were not doing a very good job. As Chicago's community-policing program developed, whites, African Americans, and Latinos adopted distinctive patterns of involvement in it.

Keywords:   Chicago, police, community policing, crime, race, whites, African Americans, Latinos

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